US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) allows employers to pay a $1,225 “Premium Processing” fee to expedite processing of a non-immigrant employment visa petition (I-129) or immigrant visa petition (I-140). USCIS guarantees that unless an approval or denial notice is issued or additional evidence is requested within 15 calendar days of receipt of the request for Premium Processing, the $1,225 fee will be refunded.
The regular USCIS processing time for an I-129 petition averages two to four months; processing time for an I-140 petition can be six months or longer. A department may initiate a Premium Processing request when the petition is submitted to USCIS, or at any time after the petition has arrived at USCIS.
Premium Processing does not reduce the amount of time it takes International Scholars Operations (ISO) to prepare and submit the petition to USCIS.
The $1,225 fee must be a University of Washington check payable to the US Department of Homeland Security. The employing department is responsible for paying the $1,225 Premium Processing Fee and must not seek reimbursement from the foreign beneficiary. The Premium Processing fee is paid with a check separate from other immigration fees. Send the check to ISO for forwarding to USCIS – do not send the check directly to USCIS.
To determine the allowability of paying the premium processing fee through federal grants, contact Grant and Contract Accounting at GCAhelp@uw.edu. Premium processing fees paid through federal grants are generally unallowable.
All I-129 petitions are sent to USCIS by two day courier service or USPS. To have an I-129 sent to USCIS for next day delivery, please provide a completed courier label and envelope addressed to:
Premium Processing Service
USCIS California Service Center
ATTN: CAP-EXEMPT H-1B Processing Unit
24000 Avila Road
2nd Floor, Room 2312
Laguna Niguel, CA 92677
To have the Approval Notice for the I-129 sent back to the UW by courier, please provide a completed courier label and envelope addressed to:
University of Washington
International Scholars Operations
239 Gerberding Hall
Seattle, WA 98195-1245