USCIS raises the Premium Processing Fee

– U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced  it is RAISING the premium processing fee for Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker and Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Workers beginning on Oct. 1, 2018 to more effectively adjudicate petitions and maintain effective service to petitioners. The premium processing fee will increase to $1,410, a 14.92 percent increase (aer rounding) from the current fee of $1,225.

The system allows petitioners to request 15-day processing of certain employment-based immigration benefit requests if they pay an extra fee. The premium processing fee is paid in addition to the base filing fee and any other applicable fees, which cannot be waived. USCIS intends to hire additional staff and make investments in information technology systems with the premium funds that are generated by the fee increase. This will allow the agency to provide premium processing service with less disruption while improving adjudications and operational processes. For more information on USCIS and its programs, please visit or follow us on Twitter (@uscis), Instagram (/uscis), YouTube (/uscis), and Facebook (/uscis)



USCIS suspends Premium Processing Again

USCIS is extending the previously announced temporary suspension of premium processing for cap-subject H-1B petitions and, beginning Sept. 11, 2018, will be expanding this temporary suspension to include certain additional H-1B petitions. We expect these suspensions will last until Feb. 19, 2019, and will notify the public via before resuming premium processing for these petitions.

While H-1B premium processing is suspended, we will reject any Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service filed with an affected Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker. If a petitioner submits one combined check for the Form I-907 and Form I‑129 H-1B fees, both forms will be rejected.

Who Is Affected

The expanded temporary suspension applies to all H-1B petitions filed at the Vermont and California Service Centers (excluding cap-exempt filings as noted below).

The previously announced suspension of premium processing for fiscal year 2019 cap-subject H-1B petitions was originally slated to last until Sept. 10, 2018, but that suspension is being extended through an estimated date of Feb. 19, 2019.

We will continue premium processing of Form I-129 H-1B petitions that are not currently suspended if the petitioner properly filed an associated Form I-907 before Sept. 11, 2018. Therefore, we will refund the premium processing fee if:

  • The petitioner filed the Form I-907 for an H-1B petition before Sept. 11, 2018; and
  • We did not take adjudicative action on the case within the 15-calendar-day processing period.

Premium Processing Remains Available for Certain H-1B Petitions

The suspension does not apply to:

  1. Cap-exempt petitions that are filed exclusively at the California Service Center because the employer is cap exempt or because the beneficiary will be employed at a qualifying cap exempt institution, entity, or organization; or
  2. Those petitions filed exclusively at the Nebraska Service Center by an employer requesting a “Continuation of previously approved employment without change with the same employer” (Box b. on Part 2, Question 2, Page 2 of the current Form I-129) with a concurrent request to:
    1. Notify the office in Part 4 so each beneficiary can obtain a visa or be admitted. (Box on Part 2, Question 4, Page 2 of the current Form I-129); or
    2. Extend the stay of each beneficiary because the beneficiary now holds this status. (Box c. on Part 2, Question 4, Page 2 of the current Form I-129).

This temporary suspension of premium processing does not apply to any other nonimmigrant classifications filed on Form I-129.


Richard Fleischer has been practicing Immigration Law since 1973. He has an international reputation in handling complex National Interest waiver and other Employment based petitions.  Our Firm  will begin a Master’s series from this immigration guru




In general, the two most common ways to obtain legal permanent residence in the United States (symbolized by the so-called “green card” are through certain family members or through employment.

If through employment a potential employer goes through the labor certification process to show, if able, that there are no U.S. workers who are ready, willing and able to be hired for the job.

There are several categories which exceptions are to having the potential employer go through this recruiting process such as Outstanding Researchers and National Interest Waiver cases. No test of the labor market is needed for these categories, but the regulations and case law require proof that the elements of each are met.

One of the ways to do this includes the Personal Statement of the petitioner written since the petitioner will not be present when the USCIS adjudicating officer reviews the petition.

The Personal Statement is the petitioner’s chance to tell about his/her field that is being applied for and the petitioner’s impact on that field. This is done in the “best way” as long as it is told accurately and truthfully.

The advantage is that we can tell these things to make it easier for the USCIS adjudicator to understand whatever field is being applied for, since the USCIS has NO expertise in ANY field and the petitioner’s impact on such field. So, if the adjudicator does not understand the field easily or the impact on such field, the adjudicator cannot approve the filed petition. Therefor, we have clients write the Personal Statement so a 12 year old child can understand, and, because this is often a hard thing for the client to do, we offer samples used by pervious clients which we like as a guide and we then refine the rough draft(s) as often as necessary until we are at a point where we think all this can be understood by the USCIS examiner.

When the adjudicator can understand, he/she can fairly adjudicate the petition we prepare.

STEM employees are no longer to work at third Party Sites

In April 2018, USCIS updated the page on its website for Optional Practice Training for STEM students which seems to indicate its view that F-1 students in the STEM OPT program are not permitted to engage in OPT at third party locations. Of particular concern is the following statement: “For instance, the training experience may not take place at the place of business or worksite of the employer’s clients or customers because ICE would lack authority to visit such sites.” According to the preamble to the March 11, 2016 STEM OPT Final Rule:

There are several aspects of the STEM OPT extension that do not make it apt for certain types of arrangements, including multiple employer arrangements, sole proprietorships, employment through ”temp” agencies, employment through consulting firm arrangements that provide labor for hire, and other relationships that do not constitute a bona fide employer-employee relationship…. Accordingly, DHS clarifies that students cannot qualify for STEM OPT extensions unless they will be bona fide employees of the employer signing the Training Plan, and the employer that signs the Training Plan must be the same entity that employs the student and provides the practical training experience.

Therefore, it appears that the change in language on the USCIS website is overreaching, and that a STEM OPT employee could be placed at the worksite of an employer’s client or customer, as long as the STEM OPT student is a bona fide employee of the employer signing the training plan, and the employer that signs the training plan provides the practical training experience. This issue has been brought to the attention of DHS and interested members of Congress through industry groups and others and we understand that the issue is currently under review. AILA is monitoring this issue closely and will update this page with additional information as it becomes available.

USCIS to destroy Green card and EAD card returned to them by the USPS

Undeliverable  Permanent Resident and Employment Authorization Cards and Travel Documents to be Destroyed After 60 Days
Starting April 2, USCIS will destroy Permanent Resident Cards, Employment Authorization Cards and
Travel Documents returned as deliverable by the U.S. Postal Service after
60 business days if USCIS is not contacted by the document’s intended recipient to provide the correct address.
USCIS encourages applicants to report a change of address within 10 days of relocation using the
procedures outlined at


A few tips to avoid this problem

  1. IF you move immediately file an AR-11 online with USCIS .
  2. Additionally notify  the office where your petition is pending
  3. In any circumstance, make sure you “tape” you name to the inside of your mailbox
  4. Go to you local post office to make sure they have a record of you living at your address

As Always contact us if you have questions or concerns



USCIS suspends premium processing – but only for Cap cases

Starting April 2, 2018, USCIS will begin accepting H-1B petitions subject to the Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 cap. We will temporarily suspend premium processing for all FY 2019 cap-subject petitions, including petitions seeking an exemption for individuals with a U.S. master’s degree or higher. This suspension is expected to last until Sept. 10, 2018. During this time, we will continue to accept premium processing requests for H-1B petitions that are not subject to the FY 2019 cap. We will notify the public before resuming premium processing for cap-subject H-1B petitions or making any other premium processing updates.
During this temporary suspension, we will reject any Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service, filed with an FY 2019 cap-subject H-1B petition. If a petitioner submits one combined check for the fees for Form I-907 and Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, we will reject both forms. When we resume premium processing, petitioners may file a Form I-907 for FY 2019 cap-subject H-1B petitions that remain pending.

US Naturalized Citizen of the Day – Tigist

Tigist is originally from Ethiopia . She has been living and working  in the USA legally. She is currently working as an engineer for a local municipality. Last week she became a US citizen. She was able to successfully navigate the US Immigration laws and did things the ” right way” Congrats to her and her family