1. USCIS Increases Premium Processing Fee Effective October 1
According to a final rule published in the Federal Register, USCIS announced that the premium processing fee will increase from $1,225 to $1,410 for Forms I-129 and I-140, effective October 1, 2018. Applications postmarked on or after October 1, 2018 must include the new fee.
As a reminder, premium processing service for cap-subject, transfer and amended H-1B petitions (cap-exempt excluded) is currently suspended.
USCIS’s alert can be found here.
2. Continuation of Worldwide Backlog for EB-1 Green Cards
The U.S. Department of State’s (DOS) most recently released Visa Bulletin for October 2018 shows a continuation of worldwide backlog for EB-1. Comments from DOS indicates that the advancement for EB-1 categories, especially for China and India, remains unlikely at least until 2019.
Furthermore, as demand is sufficiently high, it cannot be determined at this time whether the EB-1 category will become current in FY 2019.
The October 2018 Visa Bulletin can be found here.
3. Update on H-4 Visa EAD Lawsuit
On September 21, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) informed the federal court requesting to hold the case as it is, where the DHS expects to submit the proposed H-4 EAD rule to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review within 3 months.
Currently, DHS has yet to initiate notice of proposed rule making, which must first be cleared by the OMB after receiving it. After OMB reviews and clears the proposed rule, its draft must be published in the federal register with certain comment period. Based on current progress, it seems unlikely that the Administration will be able to publish the final or interim final rule until late 2018/early 2019.
The court order document can be found here.