USCIS Raises Fees

Employers and applicants will soon be paying bigger filing fees for many employer based visa petitions. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) announced the new fees in the Federal Register on January 31, 2024, effective on April 1. Fees haven’t been raised since 2016. 

The USCIS is a fee-funded agency that processes applications for various immigration-related credentials and authorizations (i.e., visas/green cards). Almost all immigration forms require a filing fee. In some instances, the applicant might qualify for a fee waiver. 

One of the most dramatic changes involves the fee for the H-1B registration. The fee will remain $10 through the agency’s 2025 fiscal year. Starting in March 2025, however, the H-1B registration fee will increase to $215. That’s an increase of 2050 percent! 

Fee-Increase Highlights 

  • I-129 H-1B petition filing fee will increase from $460 to $780, a 70 percent increase 
  • I-129 L-1 petition filing fee will increase from $460 to $1,385, a 201 percent increase
  • I-129 filing fee for E, H-3, P, Q, R, or TN petitions will increase from $460 to $1,015, a 121 percent increase
  • I-129 O-1 petition filing fee will increase from $460 to $1,055, a 129 percent increase 
  • I-140 immigrant worker petition fees will increase only slightly, from $700 to $715, a 2 percent increase
  • I-485 Application To Adjust Status (including biometric services) fees will increase from $1,225 to $1,440, an 18 percent increase 

The complete list of new fees can be found on the USCIS website. USCIS recognized that some of these fee increases could be prohibitive for small employers, and it created some exceptions where small employers (and nonprofits) will pay a lower fee. Discounts for small employers (i.e., 25 or fewer FTE employees) and nonprofits can be found throughout the new fee schedule. 

New Premium Processing Fees 

Premium Processing — expedited 15-day or 30-day action for most visa types — also comes at a cost, which has increased, too. The increase from $2,500 to $2,805 became effective on February 26, 2024. The new fee schedule also “tweaks” the expectations behind premium processing by specifying “business day” instead of the “calendar day” language used previously. 

For Employers

Unfortunately, the fee changes discussed above are just a sampling from a more extensive fee system that has become not only more expensive but complicated as well. If you have any questions or concerns about the fees now required for petitions — or the immigration status of your employees — don’t hesitate to contact Orr & Reno for assistance. 

Emily A. White 

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