** LEGAL UPDATE **
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has raised the premium processing fee for all submissions of the two forms most commonly used by employers seeking to hire non-U.S. workers either on a temporary or permanent basis.
These include Form I-129 (Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker) and Form I-140 (Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker). The amount required to request faster processing of either of these forms is going from $1,225 to $1,410. It's an almost 15% increase.
In justifying this change, USCIS noted that demand for premium processing has gone up a great deal, and that this has reduced its ability to process all petitions and applications. Experts have commented that USCIS may be hoping that the fee increase will deter employers from requesting premium processing, and instead accept whatever (no doubt backed-up) processing schedule USCIS currently operates on.
To learn more about whether premium processing will make a difference in your own application for a U.S. work visa or green card, see Timeline for Sponsoring an Immigrant Worker for a Green Card and How Long It Takes to Get an H-1B Visa Petition Approved.
Effective Date: October 1, 2018