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Premium processing fee for H-1B applications increased: New fee, date it comes into effect and other details – Times of India

The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced a final rule that will increase premium processing fees across a few categories of visas. The visas for which the fee is going up include H-1B applications.
According to immigration attorneys, sponsoring employers should factor the new premium processing fees into their immigration budget planning for the coming year.Typically, E-registrations for H-1B applications begin in March, followed by the lottery and then the final visa application for the selected beneficiaries.
What is the new fee and when it comes into effect
Fees for premium processing of Form I-129, (which is the application for a non-immigrant worker such as those on H-1B visas or L1 – intercompany transfer visas) have increased by 12% to $2,805. The fee change will go into effect starting February 26, 2024.
The premium processing charges for Form I-539, used by international students, spouses and dependents of H-1B visa holders for extending or changing their non-immigrant status stands increased to $1,965 from the existing $1,750. Form 1-765, which is for seeking employment authorisation, such as for F-1 students for their optional practical training (OPT) increases to $1,685 from $1,500.
What is premium processing
If a visa application is applied for via premium processing, the case is adjudicated within the shorter timeline as prescribed. For instance, for Form I-539 and Form I-765 it is 30 calendar days. H-1B premium processing is undertaken in 15 calendar days.
The premium processing fees stand increased to reflect the amount of inflation from June 2021 through June 2023. USCIS says that it plans to increase premium processing fees biennially in the future. It is not currently planning to change the timeframes for cases requesting premium service.

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