Blog by Pasricha & Patel, LLC

USCIS Announces Final Rule for Immigration and Naturalization Fees

Categories: Attorneys , Best US Immigration Attorney , Business Immigration , immigration attorneys , Immigration Law , Law Firm , Lawyers , Legal Services , Trusts And Estates

On January 30, 2024, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published a final rule to adjust certain filing fees. USCIS explains that the fee increase is needed to fund the increasing operational costs of the agency. As outlined below, some of the fee increases are quite significant and we are concerned about the impact this will have on certain applicants.

Key Elements of the Fee Change:

  • The following is a sample of employment-based petitions with fee changes:
    • The H-1B petition fee will increase from $460 to $760, which represents a 70% increase. There is an exception for H-1B employers who employ 25 or fewer full-time employees and non-profit organizations. Their H-1B filing fee will remain at $460.
    • L-1 petitions fee will increase from $460 to $1,388, which is a dramatic 201% increase.
    • Form I-140 immigrant petition fee will increase moderately from $700 to $715, which is a $15 increase.
    • Form I-526/I-526E immigrant petition by standalone investor/regional center will increase from $3,675 to $11,160, a dramatic increase of 204%
    • Form I-829 petition by Investor to Remove Conditions (with biometric services) will increase from $3,835 to $9,525, an increase of 148%
  • The following is a sample of individual and family-based petitions with fee changes:
    • The Form I-130 petition for alien relative will increase from $535 to $675, which is a 26% increase. There is a $50 discount for online filing.
    • The I-485 application for adjustment of status (with biometric services) will increase from $1,225 to $1,440, which is a 18% increase.
    • The I-131 application for travel document will increase from $575 to $630, a 10% increase.
    • The I-765 for employment authorization will increase from $410 to $520, which is a 27% increase.
    • The I-539 application to extend/change nonimmigrant status will increase from $370 to $470, which is a 27% increase.
    • The N400 application for naturalization (paper filing) (with biometric services) will increase slightly from $725 to $760, which is a 5% increase.
  • Online Filing Discount and Grace Period for Form Edition Updates:
    • A standard $50 discount is implemented for online filers.
    • USCIS will accept prior editions of most forms during a grace period from April 1, 2024, through June 3, 2024.
    • The following forms will have no grace period:
      • Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker
      • Form I-129 CW, Petition for a CNMI-Only Nonimmigrant Traditional Worker
      • Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Workers
      • Form I-600 A, Application for Advance Processing of an Orphan Petition
      • Form I-600, Petition to Classify Orphan as an Immediate Relative

USCIS will utilize the postmark date of a singular filing to determine which form and fees are correct but will utilize the receipt date for regular filing deadlines.

Asylum Program Fee:

Employers filing certain immigration petitions, including Form I-129 for Nonimmigrant Workers and Form I-140 for Alien Workers, will incur a new Asylum Program Fee of $600. Employers with 25 or less full-time employees will pay $300. Non-profit organizations will not have to pay this fee.

This rule on immigration and naturalization fees has impacted the cost of immigration processes tremendously. The adjustments made to both employment-based and family-based petitions raise apprehensions about the impact that this will have on applicants. The concern is that these fee increases will negatively impact those who plan to file for benefits that they may otherwise be eligible. Some may even decide not to move forward with their filings. As the new fees come into effect on April 1, 2024, we will closely monitor any advancements, and we advise readers to check our website for further developments on this matter.