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

Key Reasons to Avoid Overstaying a Business Immigration Visa
Categories News & Updates

Key Reasons to Avoid Overstaying a Work Visa

We have heard plenty of reports of downsized tech workers facing the prospect of having to leave the country despite having obtained an H-1B visas prior to entry. Thankfully, there are workarounds. But in the event a foreign-born worker isn’t able to overcome being let go, it’s still best not to overstay one’s visa.

Overstaying in hopes of finding another job might seem like a noble endeavor. But it is fraught with negative consequences. If a foreign national is caught overstaying a visa, the consequences could be such that even a skilled business immigration lawyer might not be able to help.

What could happen? Below are four possible consequences. They are also key reasons to avoid overstaying a work visa.

1. Removal Proceedings

At the top of the list is the potential of being subjected to removal proceedings. Perhaps this doesn’t seem like a big deal given the fact that a foreign national no longer eligible to work in the U.S. must leave anyway. But here’s the thing: official removal proceedings tend to be swift and uncompromising. A foreign national may not have time to get his affairs in order before being forced to leave.

Trying to tie up loose ends from thousands of miles away isn’t easy. So if there’s any chance that a worker with a valid H-1B visa will be ineligible to work in the near future, preparations for departure should begin in earnest.

2. Termination of Work or Study Privileges

A visa holder who doesn’t find himself the victim of downsizing still has to pay attention to visa expiration. Overstaying a work visa could lead to immediate termination of work and study privileges. Simply put, unemployment could be the swift and eventual result. If a worker is also studying at the same time, they could be barred from continuing those studies.

3. Negative Impacts on Future Applications

The USCIS keeps records. Lots of them. Overstaying a work visa could damage one’s permanent record and subsequently impact future visa applications. In the simplest possible terms, overstaying one visa could give immigration officials sufficient reason to reject a future visa application.

In terms of this particular issue, overstaying an H-1B visa is especially troublesome due to the fact that only a limited number of H-1Bs are issued every year. It is hard enough to get one’s application added to the annual lottery. A foreign-born worker doesn’t help his cause with an overstay on his record.

4. A Complete Ban from Future Visas

It is entirely possible that overstaying one visa could lead to a complete ban on entering the country. Foreign nationals are sometimes banned only for a designated amount of time. In other situations, the bans are permanent. Neither situation is a good one to be in.

Of course, there are always extenuating circumstances. Any corrective action taken as a result of overstaying a work visa can be appealed to the proper authorities. But of course, success depends heavily on legal representation. That is where a skilled immigration attorney comes in.

We encourage companies attempting to bring foreign workers into the country to educate themselves on U.S. business immigration law. Decision-makers should understand the law and how it applies to their particular situations. As always, Graham Adair is happy to assist.

Our law offices include a dedicated team of experienced immigration attorneys who know their craft. Our attorneys can answer questions, assist with paperwork, prepare immigrants for exams, and even provide legal representation. To that end, the most important piece of advice we can offer is to not overstay a work visa.

Who Are the Big 4 Players of Federal Immigration Policy
Categories News & Updates

Who Are the ‘Big 4’ Players of Federal Immigration Policy?

Most issues governing U.S. immigration are handled at the federal level. States have little say in immigration, although a small number of immigration policies are a matter of international law. So for all intents and purposes, Washington dominates the discussion. And in Washington are the ‘Big 4’ players: Congress, USCIS, ICE, and CBP.

The latter three agencies are all part of the Department for Homeland Security (DHS), an agency that was formed in the years immediately following the 2001 terrorist attacks on New York, Washington, and Pennsylvania.

As a law firm specializing in business immigration, it is incumbent upon us to understand how all four players influence immigration policy and enforcement. Your company may never have direct interactions with any of the entities other than USCIS. Nonetheless, it is wise to have a good business immigration attorney you can turn to.

U.S. Congress

Everything relating to U.S. immigration starts with Congress, even business immigration. Only Congress has the authority to pass legislation relating to immigration matters. They also have the authority to create departments like DHS and give them regulatory authority. In essence, the other three players in immigration derive their authority from Congress.

This dictates that Congress exercises the most control over business immigration. Even though senators and representatives rarely get involved directly, their actions on Capitol Hill shape what the other players do and, by extension, the practical impacts of federal immigration policy.

The Immigration Service (USCIS)

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) is the main administrative entity of national immigration policy. You have dealt with this agency if you’ve ever attempted to help foreign-born workers get H-1B visas prior to entry. The agency’s main priorities are:

  • administering immigration benefits
  • processing immigration and naturalization applications
  • issuing green cards and checking on green card status
  • issuing non-immigrant visas
  • issuing work authorizations
  • handling political asylum issues.

If something related to business immigration has to do with administration in any way, USCIS will be involved. Among the Big 4 players, this is the agency we deal with most often in our capacity as business immigration attorneys.

Immigration and Customs (ICE)

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is one of two enforcement arms within the DHS. Its primary mission is to enforce federal laws at the border. ICE is active at both our northern and southern borders. They can also be found operating in other parts of the country.

ICE performs its functions from a public safety perspective. But their activities are not limited strictly to preventing illegal border crossings. They are also involved in customs and trade and immigration issues.

Border Patrol (CBP)

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is often referred to colloquially as the ‘Border Patrol’. Their main priority is to prevent illegal admission of both people and cargo into the country. They have a huge responsibility in the fight against terrorism.

CBP agents are active at both U.S. borders. Patrol officers do just what their names imply: patrol the borders in order to control access. Other officers work in customs offices, checking travel documents when people arrive by land, sea, and air. Still other officers are tasked with inspecting cargo as it comes into the country. CBP is even responsible for inspecting exported cargo before it leaves the country.

The chances are that you and your company will never have to interact with immigration’s Big 4 players. But if you do, we can assist with qualified immigration attorney services. Graham Adair specializes in immigration law. We can assist with everything from immigration paperwork to expert legal representation.