Premium Processing Fee Will Be Increased as of September 30th, 2018

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has announced that the Premium Processing filing fee will be increasing to $1,410 from $1,225. The fee increase is set to take effect on September 30, 2018. All applications postmarked on or after that date must include the new fee.

Premium Processing, filed on Form I-907, allows employers who pay an additional fee to request adjudication on certain employment based petitions within 15 calendar days. According to DHS the increase in the fee is accounting for inflation based on the Consumer Price Index. The last fee adjustment accounting for inflation was in 2010.

As a reminder, USCIS has extended the suspension of premium processing for FY 2019 H-1B cap petitions and extended it to other H-1B case types till February 19, 2019.

H-4 EAD Update: DHS Submits Status Update to Rescind Program

DHS submitted a status report to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, indicating that final DHS clearance of the proposed rule to rescind the program that allowed employment authorization document (EAD) for qualifying H-4 spouse(s) is still ongoing. It was noted that senior levels of DHS leadership are actively considering the terms of the proposed rule to eliminate the program. Once it is cleared through DHS, it will be sent to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review. No specific timeline is provided on when the proposed rule may be published.

Update from USCIS: Workload Transfer

On July 19th, 2018, USCIS transferred the following cases from the Vermont Service Center to the California Service Center: Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status, for F, M, J or B nonimmigrants.

Update: The Status of DACA

On August 31, 2018, Federal District Judge Andrew S. Hanen declined to issue a preliminary injunction halting DACA but stayed his decision for 21 days to allow the parties time to pursue an appeal of the denial. The case is Texas v. United States.

Judge Hanen stated that “The Court did not grant the preliminary injunction as it found that the States had delayed seeking this relief for years that the balance of private interests fell in favor of the denial of the requested relief, and that implementing the relief at this point in time was contrary to the best interests of the public.”

The decision allows DACA applicants to be able to continue to file for renewals of their work authorization (EAD).