The Continuing Appropriations Act, 2021 and Other Extensions Act was signed into law on October 1. This required the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to increase its fees for premium processing. Premium processing provides expedited processing for Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker, and Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker. To receive premium processing, applicants are required to pay a service fee. This guarantees 15 calendar days or they will be refunded the fee.

Included in the Act was the Emergency Stopgap USCIS Stabilization Act, mandating USCIS to establish and collect additional premium processing fees. This was done with the intent to use these additional funds for expanded purposes. Pub. L. No. 116-159 increased the fee for Form I-907 from $1440 to $2500. This is for all filings except those of petitioners filing Form I-129, requesting H-2B or R-1 nonimmigrant status. The premium processing fee for individuals filing Form I-129 for H-2B or R-1 nonimmigrant status increased from $1440 to $1500. These fees became effective beginning on October 19, 2020.

It is important to be aware that any Form I-907 with a postmark on or after October 19 is required to include the new fee amount. In the event that USCIS receives a Form I-907 postmarked on or after the date with an incorrect filing fee, the form will be rejected and the fee will be returned. If the filing was sent by a commercial courier (UPS, FedEx, DHL), the postmark date is the date reflected on the courier receipt. 

In addition to this, Pub. L. No. 116-159 gives USCIS the ability to expand premium processing to additional forms and benefit requests. However, USCIS is not taking action on that yet. Any expansion of this system to other forms will be implemented as stated in the legislation.

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The Law Offices of Cheryl R. David practices immigration law throughout NYC. Immigration is a sensitive issue, which is why you should consider a compassionate, experienced, and aggressive immigration attorney who will guide you every step of the way. If you have questions about your particular matters regarding immigration please do not hesitate to contact our office to discuss your circumstances and options.