The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced that Premium Processing fees will increase in 2024.
This increase will take into account the inflation rate from June 2021 to June 2023, according to the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers.
How much will Premium Processing increase?
Depending on the process, Premium Processing will increase from $1,500 to $1,685, $1,750, $1,965, and from $2,500 to $2,805.
For EB-2 NIW and EB-1A, Premium Processing can be used to expedite the I-140 part of the process. Until now, the cost of Premium Processing for this purpose was $2,500, so it will increase to $2,805. This is a 12.5% increase in fees. The fee hike is said to correct the cost for inflation, based on the USCIS Stabilization Act.
When is the Premium Processing fee increase go into effect?
The fee hike will be effective on February 26, 2024. Petitions postmarked on or after Feb 26, 2024 will need to be accompanied by the new higher fee for form I-907 (Premium Processing). If the petitioner encloses the old fee, USCIS will reject form I-907 and Premium Processing will not be applied at that time.
Is Premium Processing still worth it for EB-2 NIW
In a recent blog post I discussed my opinion about Premium Processing in this green card category. In short, given the current visa bulletin backlogs, and considering that Premium Processing only expedites the I-140 step, it is hard to justify the high cost of Premium Processing for the petitioner. You can read my full opinion here.
What will USCIS do with this money?
USCIS explained in their news release that the increase in fee will allow them to make improvements to the adjudication process, respond to adjudication demands, including reducing benefit request processing backlogs.
Are more fee hikes coming soon?
Yes, other fees are expected to increase in the first quarter of 2024 after a long approval process. This process started in early 2023 and is now thought to finish around March 2024. In a separate blog post we discussed what impact that other fee increase will have on petitioners. We will keep an eye to see if the final approval keeps the fee schedule as initially proposed or modification are introduced in the final stages of the approval.