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USCIS Increasing Premium Processing Fees in February 2024 | US Immigration Update

USCIS Increasing Premium Processing Fees in February 2024 | US Immigration Update

A final regulation that was just released by USCIS and published in the Federal Register alerts the public to an upcoming change in premium processing costs that will take effect on February 26, 2024. The fees have been adjusted following the June 2021–June 2023 inflation index. Significant ramifications flow from this revelation for people navigating the US immigration system.

Summary of the Impending Changes in Premium Processing Fees for Various Forms

1. Form I-129, Petition for H2B or R-1 Nonimmigrant
  • Current premium processing fee: $1,500
  • New premium processing fee $1,685
2. Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant (other than for H2B or R-1)
  • Current premium processing fee: $2,500
  • New premium processing fee: $2,805
3. Form I-539, Applications to change Nonimmigrant Status
  • Current premium processing fee: $1,750
  • New premium processing fee: $1,965
4. Form I-140, Immigrant Petition
  • Current premium processing fee: $2,500
  • New premium processing fee: $2,805
5. Form I-765, Applications for Employment Authorization
  • Current premium processing fee: $1,500
  • New premium processing fee: $1,685

Requests for premium processing with a postmark date of February 26, 2024, or later, will be subject to this increased charge. Congress has given USCIS permission to examine and raise its premium processing costs every two years to keep up with inflation.

USCIS Reduces I-130 Processing Times for Family Petitions

There are exciting new developments in US immigration as the USCIS reports significant delays in the processing of I-130 family petitions. We examine the tactics used by USCIS to clear backlogs, speed up adjudications, and offer insights into the anticipated trends for 2024 in this extensive update.

USCIS Initiatives to Expedite I-130 Processing

Examine the proactive steps that USCIS has taken to address the significant backlog of 9.5 million cases. Discover the introduction of internal time cycle targets, or cycle timings, which are intended to improve accountability, expedite procedures, and provide applicants with reasonable expectations. Find out how these indicators are changing the way that different petitions are processed.

Premium Processing and its Impact

Even though premium processing is a useful tool for accelerating some applications, learn about the restrictions related to I-130 petitions. Learn about the premium processing expansion projects of uses and the impact they have had on the adjudication time of particular case types. Recognize the difficulties applicants in particular categories encounter and the efforts being made to address these issues.

Challenges in Processing I-130 Petitions

Explore the intricacies of processing I-130 applications, particularly for those who are not direct relatives of US citizens. Analyze the causes of longer processing times, paying particular attention to groups including sibling relationships, spouses of green card holders, and single sons or daughters of US citizens or green card holders. Additionally, learn about the anxiety and anger that candidates feel while they wait for a decision.

USCIS’s Approach to Accelerate Processing

Discover how USCIS is proactively shortening I-130 processing times. Examine the organization’s initiatives to increase caseworker staffing, digitize application processes, and promote online petition submissions. Recognize how these efforts are enhancing the effectiveness and responsiveness of the immigration adjudication procedure.

Predictions for 2024 and Beyond

Get a peek at what to expect when it comes to I-130 processing timelines in 2024. Examine the patterns seen in the past few months regarding wait times and reductions for particular categories. Recognize that while USCIS continues to hone its procedures, additional advancements and quicker decisions are to be expected.

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Applicants can expect a more prompt and efficient immigration experience as USCIS makes major efforts to improve the effectiveness of I-130 processing. Keep up with the most recent happenings, investigate 2024 projections, and confidently traverse the changing terrain of US immigration

USCIS Non-Immigrant F&M Visa Guidelines 2024

USCIS updates guidelines for international students about policies. Regarding the F and M student non-immigrant classifications, US Citizenship and Immigration Services is providing policy guidelines. These guidelines also address the agency’s responsibility to decide on applications for employment authorization, change of status, extension of stay, and reinstatement of status for these students and their dependents in the country.

USCIS anticipates that this would bring much-needed clarity to US educational institutions and international students on a variety of subjects, such as eligibility requirements, school transfers, and on-campus and off-campus jobs.

According to the guidelines, F and M students must have a foreign residence that they intend to keep, but they may also be the recipients of an immigrant visa petition or permanent labor certification application, and they may still be able to prove that they intend to leave after a brief stay.

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According to the guidelines, F students with a degree in a Science, Technology, Engineering, or Mathematics (STEM) discipline who choose to extend their optional practical training may work for startup enterprises. Among other things, the firm complies with the criteria of the training plan, maintains good standing with E-verify, and pays employees in line with what similarly situated US workers are paid.

A non-citizen may enter the country as a full-time student at a college, university, seminary, conservatory, academic high school, elementary school, or other academic institution, or in a language training program, under the non-immigrant academic student F-1 classification. Students enrolled in recognized non-academic programs, other than language training programs, that are established vocational programs fall under the non-immigrant vocational student (M-1) categorization.

What Happens at a Biometrics Appointment

The applicant will receive an appointment notice from USCIS via mail a few weeks after submitting Form I-90. The notification gives the time, date, and place of the biometrics appointment. To get the permanent residents’ fingerprints and photos, the biometrics appointment takes about 15 to 20 minutes.

The USCIS will perform a criminal history check in addition to using the biometrics to create a new green card. The fingerprints and identity of the applicant will be forwarded to the FBI by USCIS. The FBI will compare the data to databases maintained by various law enforcement organizations.

If the applicant has a criminal history or a history of immigration infractions, USCIS will be able to find out. Before applying for the renewal of their Green Card, anyone who thinks they might have a criminal background should speak with an immigration counsel. A copy of the applicant’s arrest record can be obtained beforehand, and an attorney can guide them through the procedure. An attorney might be able to get a waiver or have the record expunged, depending on the details.

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