Categories Global News & Updates

UK Immigration Fees Will Increase Starting 4 October 2023

Following the UK Government’s announcement in July 2023, it has been confirmed that the immigration fees will change from 9am on 4 October 2023. You may find the full listing of amended fees here.

The date that the Immigration Health Surcharge is due to rise is still unknown; however, it may happen later this fall.


Employers are encouraged to review the sponsorship pipeline and submit applications for initial sponsorship, extension and/or settlement ahead of the fee rises wherever possible, review Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) allocations and request increases using the Priority change of circumstance service, and make any upcoming applications for Skilled Worker defined CoS as soon as possible.


Some of the fee changes most likely to interest you are listed below:


Fees category  Current fee (GBP)  New fee (GBP)  Percentage increase 
Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) for Skilled Workers or GBM Senior or Specialist Workers  199  239  20%
Skilled Worker entry clearance (outside the UK) with CoS of three years or less (main applicant and each dependant)  625  719  15%
Skilled Worker entry clearance (outside the UK) with CoS of more than three years (main applicant and each dependant)  1,235  1,420  15%
Skilled Worker permission to stay with CoS of three years or less (main applicant and each dependant)  719  827  15%
Skilled Worker permission to stay with CoS of more than three years (main applicant and each dependant)  1,423  1,500  5.41%
Skilled Worker – shortage occupation – entry clearance or permission to stay with CoS of three years or less (main applicant and each dependant)  479  551  15%
Skilled Worker – shortage occupation – entry clearance or permission to stay with CoS of more than three years (main applicant and each dependant)  943  1,084  15%
Settlement (indefinite leave)  2,404  2,885  20%
Priority processing outside the UK Entry clearance (non-settlement) 250 500 Doubled
Priority processing within the UK Permission to stay 500 500 No change


Please contact us at with any questions.

Categories News & Updates USCIS

USCIS Launches Online Appointment Request Form

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has launched a new online form for individuals, attorneys, and accredited representatives to request an in-person appointment at their local field office without having to call the USCIS Contact Center.

This online appointment request form allows individuals or legal representatives to request an in-person appointment at a field office only, for ADIT stamps, Emergency Advance Parole, Immigration Judge Grants, and more. It is not a self-scheduling tool and individuals cannot schedule their own appointments with USCIS. The USCIS Contact Center will review submitted forms and the availability of in-person appointments at a specific field office. Individuals may request a specific date and time for an in-person appointment, but USCIS cannot guarantee that the requested appointment date will be scheduled. USCIS will confirm and schedule the individual for an available in-person appointment date and time.

USCIS continues to demonstrate our commitment to supporting the Executive Order on Transforming Federal Customer Experience and Service Delivery to Rebuild Trust in Government by introducing new initiatives in hopes of improving the customer experience.

The online appointment request form is expected to enhance the customer experience by collecting required information upfront and potentially scheduling the requested appointment without any further engagement with the USCIS Contact Center. The Contact Center may need to contact an individual either by phone or email depending on the appointment reason and urgency, using the reference number provided to them at the time the request was submitted.

Visit for more information on the online appointment request form.

Categories Compliance News & Updates USCIS

I-9 Update: examination of documents virtually

Earlier this week we received great news on the virtual examination of documents for I-9 purposes. The USCIS just announced that they will be publishing a revised form I-9 and accompanying regulations that will allow employers to establish procedures to examine documents remotely on a permanent basis and would exempt qualified employers from the physical reexamination for those previously completed I-9s.


For an employer to be eligible for this, the employer must:


  • Be enrolled in E-Verify and in good standing;
  • Complete the E-Verify tutorial that includes fraud awareness and antidiscrimination training (this should be done by all the employer’s users of E-Verify);
  • Offer the procedure to all employees in the site where it implements the procedure, except that an employer may choose to limit this to employees who work exclusively remotely or on a hybrid schedule;
  • Examine copies (front and back, if the document is two-sided) of the documents or an acceptable receipt to ensure that the documentation presented reasonably appears to be genuine;
  • Conduct a live video interaction with the individual presenting the document(s) to ensure that the documentation reasonably appears to be genuine and related to the individual. The employee must first transmit a copy of the document(s) to the employer (per the step above) and then present the same document(s) during the live video interaction;
  • Indicate on the Form I-9, by completing the corresponding box, that an alternative procedure was used to examine documentation to complete Section 2 or for reverification, as applicable;
  • Retain clear and legible copy of the documentation (front and back if the documentation is two-sided);


This new procedure takes effect on August 1, however employers who are eligible for the new procedure may use this procedure in relation to those I-9s that were completed based on COVID-19 flexibilities. To take advantage of this new procedure in relation to the I-9s completed during the previous period, employers must:


  • Have been enrolled in E-Verify at the time they performed a remote examination of an employee’s Form I-9 documentation for Section 2 or reverification while using the COVID-19 flexibilities;
  • Created an E-Verify case for that employee (except for reverification); and
  • Performed the remote inspection between March 20, 2020 and July 31, 2023, can use the alternative procedure to satisfy the required physical examination of the employee’s  documents for that Form I-9. Such employers should not create a new case in E-Verify. All employers that use the alternative procedure instead of physical examination as described above must follow the steps of the alternative procedure and add “alternative procedure” with the date of examination (i.e., the date the employer performed a live video interaction as required under the alternative procedure) to the Section 2 Additional Information field on the Form I-9 or in Section 3, as appropriate.


We are pleased to see these changes from USCIS, which more closely mirror the realities of a post-pandemic workplace. Please contact us with any questions at

Categories News & Updates USCIS

USCIS Announces Mail Option for I-551 Stamps

Green card holders now have a mail-in option for receiving proof of lawful permanent residency. Previously, those who had their green card lost, damaged or stolen, or otherwise needed proof of permanent residency, had to schedule an in-person appointment to receive an ADIT stamp, sometimes called an I-551 stamp. Now they can call the USCIS Contact Center to have an officer verify identity and mailing address, and potentially receive the ADIT stamp by courier service.

When lawful permanent residents call the USCIS Contact Center to request temporary evidence of status, an immigration services officer will verify their identity, their physical mailing address, and whether that address can receive UPS or FedEx express mail. They will then either schedule an in-person appointment for the lawful permanent resident, if needed, or submit a request to the USCIS field office to issue the ADIT stamp. If an in-person appointment is not needed, the USCIS field office will review the request for temporary evidence and mail the applicant a Form I-94 with ADIT stamp, DHS seal, and a printed photo of the lawful permanent resident obtained from USCIS systems.


This doesn’t mean that all those who request mail service will receive it. Some green card holders will still need to appear in person at a USCIS field office to receive evidence of their status, including those who have urgent needs, do not have a useable photo in USCIS systems, or whose address or identity cannot be confirmed.


The new process will give USCIS the option of issuing evidence of lawful permanent resident status in a timely manner without requiring a scheduled appointment at the field office. The goal is to reduce the burden on applicants and increase availability of USCIS services for other efforts.

If you would like additional guidance, please contact us at:

Avoiding Court The #1 Reason to Follow Immigration Law
Categories News & Updates

Avoiding Loss of Status: The #1 Reason to Follow Immigration Law

There are plenty of valid reasons to follow immigration law to the letter. Likewise, there are just as many reasons to hire a business immigration attorney to help ensure that your foreign-born workers maintain compliance for as long as they are in the U.S. But by far the number one reason is avoiding the loss of status, which could result in the accrual of unauthorized stay and eventually a 3-year or 10-year bar from the United States.

Criminal and civil court are what most people think of when the U.S. court system is the topic of discussion. If you know anything about American law, you know how different criminal and civil court can be. Guess what? Immigration court is a separate entity altogether. A lot of what happens in immigration court is nothing like criminal and civil court.

While most employment-based foreign nationals will never end up in immigration court, it is interesting to know how it works.

Right to an Attorney

Right off the top, there is no legal right to an attorney in immigration court. The law allows defendants to hire immigration attorneys as they see fit. But there is neither a legal requirement nor access to free representation if a defendant cannot afford an attorney. That’s why, in so many cases, defendants find themselves in court without legal representation.

For the record, very few business immigration cases involving things like H-1B visas end up in court. Most court cases are the result of people entering the country illegally or entering legally but overstaying their welcome. If foreign-born workers follow the law, the chances of ending up in court are slim to none. This is why close coordination with a qualified immigration attorney is so important. 

No Discovery, Either

Not only do defendants not have a right to counsel in immigration court, but there is also no discovery process. That is completely foreign to both civil and criminal court, where both sides are required to present evidence that they plan to use at trial. The discovery process gives both prosecution and defense ample time to prepare.

No such deal in immigration court. Defendants can arrive to their hearings without any advance knowledge of the evidence that will be used against them. Imagine being an immigrant with no legal representation and no knowledge of the evidence to be presented in court. How can you possibly defend yourself properly?

Cases Can Drag on For Years

There is one thing immigration court has in common with civil and criminal court: the potential for cases to drag on for years. Our legal system is set up in such a way as to allow all sorts of legal wrangling on both sides, legal wrangling that can tie up a case indefinitely. Unfortunately, immigration court is at a decided disadvantage in terms of resources.

At least in criminal and civil court, judges are required to maintain a fairly reasonable timeline. Not so an immigration court. For example, a recent story published by MetroWest Daily News briefly discussed a simple green card case that took seven years to resolve. Why so long?

Immigration judges are suffering under an extremely heavy case load. So much so that a single motion can lead to a hearing delay of up to two years. All the while, the defendant is left in limbo. There is no way to plan for the future because there is no way to know what the future holds.

In closing, we want to emphasize the fact that the vast majority of business immigration cases never end up in court. But that is because the law is followed to the letter. If you are looking to bring foreign-born workers to the U.S., know that the system is time consuming and complicated. Your best bet is to work with an experienced immigration law from like Graham Adair. We can help you maintain compliance throughout the process.