Immigrants can still get their U.S. work visas expedited, but it will cost a lot more
U.S. immigration officials announced Friday that they would increase the priority processing fee for work visa applications starting Monday, October 19. This is a special procedure with which the decision of the case can be accelerated against additional, high costs.
Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) allow U.S. employers or foreign applicants to pay a $ 1,440 award processing fee in addition to the other fees required for the type of forms submitted.
That fee, which is attached to Form I-907 (Request for Premium Processing Service), increases to $ 2,500, immigration officials said in a press release.
Premium Processing offers an expedited service where USCIS guarantees that those who wish to pay the additional cost will have their nonimmigrant application processed within 15 calendar days.
USCIS resumed this particular expedited processing for certain eligible petitions in May after it was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Immigration also reported Friday that it had updated Form I-907, which must be attached to the main petition for nonimmigrants or Form I-129.
Green cards are only available to immigrants who fall under one of these categories
On July 31, USCIS announced that it would increase its fees by an average of 30% starting October 2, but in some cases up to 535%. The agency said the increase was necessary to "continue operations in the long term and sensibly to ensure cost recovery."
However, the Trump administration's plans for an exorbitant hike in fees for some of the most common immigration cases were halted after a California federal judge prevented the Department of Homeland Security's agency from increasing the fees.
The nationwide increase in the fee for Judge Jeffrey S. White's injunction for citizenship and other immigration benefits will not affect visa rewards processing.
According to the USCIS publication, the $ 2,500 fee applies to all I-129 applications for non-immigrant workers, with the exception of H-2B visas for non-agricultural temporary workers and R-1 for non-immigrant religious workers. For these two categories, the new award processing fee is $ 1,500.
Nonimmigrant visa classifications affected by the new fee include H-1B visas for foreigners in specialty occupations, the requirements of which were recently tightened by a provisional final ruling by the Department of Homeland Security.
E-1, E-2, L-1, and O-1 visa applicants who, among other things, want to expedite the processing of their petition must pay an additional $ 2,500.
Daniel Shoer Roth is an immigration law journalist who does not provide legal advice or individual assistance to applicants. Follow him on Twitter @DanielShoerRoth or Instagram. The content of this story does not constitute legal advice.
Read this story in Spanish in the el Nuevo Herald.
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