Update Oct 16, 2020 – USCIS has increased the H1B premium processing fee from the current $1440 to $2500 starting Oct 19, 2020.
The premium processing for H4, L2, and EAD is not available yet. USCIS just announced the increase of premium fees for H1B. It seems the H4 EAD premium processing announcement will take time (probably a couple of months).
This article will discuss:
H4 EAD premium processing Bill
The Senate has passed the HR 8337 bill which adds Premium Processing service for H4 and L2 extensions including H4 EAD and L2 EAD applications.
This is a welcome step and will provide relief to many who are otherwise on the mercy of the USCIS officers to approve their EAD expedite request.
You can now just pay the money instead of begging for timely approval of your EAD.
Premium processing will now be available for:
- i539, i-765 (EAD) – Employment-based primary and their dependents like H1B and L1 dependents.
- All EB1, EB2, and EB3 i-140 including EB-1C multinational executives and managers, and EB-2 national interest waivers can now get the result within faster by paying a premium fee.
- Change of status applications like F1 to H4 or vice versa, H1B to H4 COS, and other such combinations will have premium processing service.
The new premium fee will be $2500. It’s a steep rise from the current $1440.
The fee will vary from $1500 to $2500 based on type of application though.
Biometric Appointment in Premium Processing Cases?
The clever part is that the premium processing timeline will not start until all the prerequisite steps for approving an application are completed.
- H4 and L2 extension’s premium processing timer will not start until the primary’s H1B or L1 extension has been approved.
- Similarly, the biometric appointment will also be a major hurdle in the H4/L2 extension’s premium timeline.
USCIS should share more details on how the premium processing will work for H4, L2, and F extension cases when the biometric is an important step in the middle.
Pay one Premium fee for H1B, H4, EAD by filing together?
It is not clear if USCIS will allow one single premium processing fees together for primary and dependent applications.
It would be great if they can give a bundle price for premium processing of all three applications together like H1B + H4 + H4 EAD.
Back in the pre-biometric days, USCIS used to show big heart and approve H4 and H4 EAD along with H1B premium as a goodwill gesture.
We will update here if new information is made available for this.
USCIS should announce the date of the premium processing service start for the new types of applications soon.
The bill has just passed Senate on Sep 30, 2020. We expect the announcement to be made in 7-10 days after the president signs it.
The maximum fee and processing time for EB-1C (multinational executives and managers) would be $2500 and 45 days respectively.
The change of status to F, J, and M fee will be a maximum of $1750 and will be processed within 30 days.
The extension or change of status to E, H, L, O, P, or R, will carry a cost of $1750 and the processing should be completed within 30 days.
The good news is that premium processing for EADs (H4 and L2 EAD included) will cost $1500 to get approval within 30 days.
This is much better than filing court litigations or losing the job.
You should be able to upgrade your existing pending H4 and H4 EAD applications to premium once the USCIS starts accepting it.