For a number of years, “premium processing” has been available to accelerate USCIS review of Petitions for some immigration benefits. With USCIS processing times extending for long months and posted processing times unreliable, more and more users have turned to Premium Processing as a means of ensuring a timely review of time-sensitive cases. In 2023, USCIS extended the availability of premium processing to include additional application types, including some Applications to Change/Extend Non-immigrant Status (I-539) and Applications for Employment Authorization (I-765). USCIS has undoubtedly benefitted from the additional revenue while users have acceded to the trade-off of paying additional fees in exchange for a timely result.

For some time, the supplemental fee for premium processing of most NIV and IV applications was $2,500. USCIS has just issued a final rule that will increase filing fees for premium processing “to adjust for inflation.” This means even higher costs for persons and organizations seeking immigration benefits. However, with USCIS unable to keep up with normal workload and normal processing times for many application types extending to more than a year, applicants and petitioners will find themselves with no choice but to absorb and pay the additional costs.

USCIS says that it will use the revenue generated by the premium processing fee increase to provide premium processing services, make process improvements, reduce backlogs and otherwise fund USCIS adjudication and naturalization services.

The fee change will go into effect on February 26, 2024. Requests for premium processing postmarked on or after that date will require the increased filing fee. For Forms I-129 and I-140, the fee will increase from $2,500 to $2,805. For Form I-539, the fee will increase from $1,750 to $1,965. For Form I-765 the fee will increase from $1,500 to $1,685.

Filing fees for Premium Processing are in addition to the base filing fees for applications. For additional information on fee increases for Premium Processing, click here. For additional information and questions, contact us.