Categories News & Updates USCIS

Chart Showing USCIS Fee Increases

See the summary chart of fee increases at the bottom of this article.

USCIS has issued a new fee schedule that will go into effect on April 1, 2024. USCIS has not done this sort of fee increase since December of 2016. USCIS states that the increases are necessary to improve processing times, considering increasing costs due to inflation. USCIS had issued a proposed rule, followed by a notice and comment period. There were few changes to the proposed fees after the notice and comment period.

First, the good news. Because the new fees go into effect on April 1st, the increased H-1B registration fee will not be impacted for this year’s H-1B lottery.

On the other hand, U.S. companies are being asked to shoulder costs for administering the asylum program, wherein many applicants are unable to pay the costs associated with processing their application. The additional $600 fee will be assessed to companies filing cases on Form I-129, which includes H-1Bs, as well as Form I-140 for those going through the green card process. The fee is reduced to $300 for organizations with fewer than 25 employees, and $0 for nonprofit organizations.

Employers currently pay a $500 fraud prevention fee on many cases, which is a 1-time fee. They also pay a $1500 education and training fee on H-1Bs ($750 for companies with 25 or fewer employees), which is typically paid twice – once on the employee’s initial petition and again on the first extension. However, this new asylum program fee does not seem to have any such limits. This means that the fee could be paid many times by companies sponsoring an H-1B employee, for example, from India who requires many extension before being able to receive a green card.

Here is a summary of the fee increases:

Case Type Current Fee New Fee
4/1/2024
Percent Change  
EMPLOYMENT-BASED PETITION FEES
Standard Asylum Program Fee (applicable to I-129 and I-140 petitions) N/A $600 N/A
Asylum Program Fee – Small Employers (25 employees or less) N/A $300 N/A
Asylum Program Fee – Nonprofits N/A $0 N/A
NONIMMIGRANT      
H-1B Registration Fee $10 $215 2050%
Form I-129 H-1B and H-1B1 Classifications $460 $780 70%
Form I-129 H-1B and H-1B1 Classifications – Small Employers and Nonprofits $460 $460 0%
Form I-129 H-2B – Named Beneficiaries $460 $1,080 135%
Form I-129 H-2B – Named Beneficiaries – Small Employers and Nonprofits $460 $540 17%
Form I-129 H-2B – Unnamed Beneficiaries $460 $580 26%
Form I-129 H-2B – Unnamed Beneficiaries – Small Employers and Nonprofits $460 $460 0%
Form I-129 L Classification $460 $1,385 201%
Form I-129 L Classification – Small Employers and Nonprofits $460 $695 51%
Form I-129 O Classification $460 $1,055 129%
Form I-129 O Classification – Small Employers and Nonprofits $460 $530 15%
Form I-129 E-1, E-2, E-3, TN, H-3, P, Q, R Classifications $460 $1,015 121%
Form I-129 E-1, E-2, E-3, TN, H-3, P, Q, R Classifications – Sm Emp and NP’s $460 $510 11%
Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status – Online $370 $420 14%*
Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status – Paper $370 $470 27%*
IMMIGRANT      
Form I-140 Immigrant Visa Petition $700 $715 2%
Form I-526, Immigrant Petition by Standalone Investor $3,675 $11,160 204%
Form I-526E, Immigrant Petition by Regional Center Investor $3,675 $11,160 204%
Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status $1,140 $1,440 26%
Form I-485, Application to Register Perm. Res. or Adjust Status (under 14) $750 $950 27%
Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization – Online $410 $470*** 15%*
Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization – Paper $410 $520*** 27%*
Form I-131, Application for Travel Document $575 $630 10%
Form I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card – Online $455 $415 -9%
Form I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card – Paper $455 $465 2%
CITIZENSHIP      
Form N-400, Application for Naturalization – Online $640 $710 11%
Form N-400, Application for Naturalization – Paper $640 $760 19%

 

Please contact us at info@grahamadair.com; (408) 715-7067 with any questions.

Categories News & Updates USCIS

USCIS Proposed Fee Increases

USCIS proposed a fee increase for certain immigration services, including applications for naturalization and certain types of visas. The proposed fee increase would affect a wide range of individuals, including those seeking to become naturalized citizens, as well as those applying for nonimmigrant visas such as H-1B, L-1, and E-2 visas. The proposed fee increase would also apply to individuals seeking employment authorization documents and those seeking to renew their green cards.

The text of the proposed rule is now available and is noted at the bottom of this article. There is a variable fee for Form I-129 depending on the type of status sought, such as H-1B, L-1, TN, etc. The I-129 fee increase ranges between 70% – 201%. The current I-129 fee is $460.

According to the USCIS, the proposed fee increase is necessary to “ensure the agency has the resources it needs to maintain processing times, reduce backlogs, and improve its services.” The agency claims that it has not raised fees for many of its services in over a decade and that the proposed increase is necessary to keep pace with the rising costs of providing immigration services.

However, the proposed fee increase has faced widespread opposition from immigrant advocacy groups and some members of Congress. Critics argue that the fee increase would place an undue burden on immigrants and could discourage people from seeking legal immigration status. They also argue that the fee increase is unnecessary, as the USCIS already generates sufficient revenue through fees to cover its costs.

At this time, it is unclear when or if the proposed fee increase will take effect. The USCIS is required to allow for a period of public comment before implementing any changes to its fees. It is possible that the agency will make changes to the proposed fee increase based on the feedback it receives during this period.

In conclusion, the proposed fee increase from the USCIS has generated significant controversy and opposition. While the agency argues that the increase is necessary to maintain its operations, critics argue that it would place an undue burden on immigrants and is unnecessary given the agency’s current fee structure. Procedural rules require that the proposal go through a formal notice-and-comment period that will likely last 60 days, during which time any member of the public may submit feedback.

Here is a link to the proposed rule: https://lnkd.in/eQSvXPGY

Categories News & Updates USCIS

Expansion of Premium Processing for Certain Immigrant Petitions

Today, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced an expansion of premium processing to petitioners with certain I-140 Immigrant Petitions for Alien Workers pending in the EB1 and EB2 preference categories.

 

Starting on June 1, 2022, USCIS will accept I-907 requests for premium processing service of EB1C Multinational Executive and Manager I-140 petitions received on or before January 1, 2021.

 

Starting on July 1, 2022, USCIS will accept requests for premium processing service of EB2 National Interest Waiver petitions received on or before June 1, 2021. USCIS will accept I-907 requests for premium processing service of EB1C Multinational Executive and Manager petitions received on or before March 1, 2021.

 

USCIS will not accept new I-140 EB1C and EB2 NIW I-140 petitions filed in premium processing at this time.

 

In today’s announcement, USCIS also noted that it released a new Form I-907 yesterday, dated 05/31/2022, and will accept both the old 09/30/2020 version and the new 05/31/2022 version until June 30, 2022. Starting July 1, 2022, USCIS will require the new version and will reject requests made on the old version.

 

Please contact your Graham Adair attorney with any case specific questions, or contact us at info@grahamadair.com; +1 408 715 7067.

Categories News & Updates USCIS

USCIS Expands Premium Processing Services

In an effort to increase efficiency and reduce burdens to the overall legal immigration system, USCIS has announced three new actions intended to reduce backlogs, expand Premium Processing Services and provide timely access to Employment Authorization Documents (EADs).

 

Reducing Backlogs: To reduce backlogs, USCIS has established new internal cycle time goals. These goals are internal metrics and affect how long it takes the agency to process cases. As cycle times improve, processing times will follow, and applicants and petitioners will receive decisions on their cases more quickly. USCIS plans to achieve these new goals by the end of FY 2023. The new cycle time goals can be accessed here- https://www.uscis.gov/forms/filing-guidance.

 

Expansion of Premium Processing Service: USCIS intends to begin gradually implementing premium processing availability to include Form I-539, Form I-765 and additional classifications under Form I-140 in fiscal year 2022. First, USCIS plans to begin this phased implementation process by expanding premium processing eligibility to Form I-140 filers requesting EB-1 immigrant classification as a multinational executive or manager, EB-2 classification as a member of the professions with advanced degrees, and those with exceptional ability seeking a national interest waiver. A specific timeline has not yet been announced. We will provide updates on timing as they become available.

 

Access to EADs: USCIS had recently extended validity periods of certain EADs by providing an automatic 180-day extension. Now it aims to build on this progress to ensure certain individuals will not lose their work authorization status while their applications are pending. More updates on the EAD adjudication process will be released by USCIS in the coming days. We will monitor progress and provide updates.

 

Please contact your Graham Adair attorney with any case specific questions, or contact us at info@grahamadair.com; +1 408 715 7067.

Categories USCIS

USCIS Premium Processing Fee Increase and Expansion to New Case Types

Premium processing services will be expanded under a recent federal government funding bill that was just passed by Congress. Under the bill, the cost of premium processing will increase, and will also be available to many types of cases where premium processing was not available.

The law takes effect immediately, however, it will likely take USCIS several weeks to implement the changes and begin accepting cases that are newly eligible for premium processing. It is also not clear at this time what the exact fees will be. At this point in time, the only numbers that have been provided are the upper limit caps.

This is a breakdown of what we know:

  • H-1B, L-1, O-1, TN, and other non-immigrant petitions filed on I-129: $2500. Timing for adjudication remains at 15 calendar days.
  • I-140 petitions for most case types: $2500. Timing for adjudication remains at 15 calendar days.
  • NEW: I-539 applications for dependents: upper limit of $1750. Timing for adjudication will be 30 days.
  • NEW: I-140 for Multinational Managers and National Interest Waiver: upper limit of $2500. Timing for adjudication will be 45 days.
  • NEW: EAD card applications: upper limit of $1500. Timing for adjudication will be 30 days.

USCIS will make announcements about accepting additional case types and the schedule for rolling out premium processing fee increases. We are watching for these announcements and will provide details as they become available.