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LEGAL ALERT: Immigration Law, New Filing Fees Effective April 1, 2024

A new USCIS fee schedule, slated to take effect on April 1st, will increase filing fees for many immigration benefit petitioners and applicants, which will particularly abrupt for employment-based petitioners, according to a final rule to be published in the Federal Register on January 31. The new fee schedule will apply to USCIS petitions and applications postmarked April 1, 2024 or later.

The final fee schedule imposes varying fees for the array of nonimmigrant classifications sought on Form I-129; increases the premium processing timeframe from calendar days to business days; unbundles filing fees for adjustment of status and its ancillary work and travel authorization applications; and assesses a new Asylum Program Fee on most Form I-129 and Form I-140 filings, among other key changes.

The agency asserts that the new fee adjustments are necessary for USCIS to improve processing times and provide adequate service, and that without increased revenue from the changes, agency backlogs will continue to grow. USCIS last adjusted its fee schedule in December 2016, with a weighted average fee increase of 21%.

Some of the fees that will impact employers; high skilled immigrants and investors are:

✅ I-129 H1B Fee from $460 to $780 ($460 for employers with less than 25 employees and non-profit employers);

✅ I-129 L-1 Fee from $460 to $1385 ($695 for employers with less than 25 employees and non-profit employers);

✅ I-129 O Fee from $460 to $ 1055 ( $530 for employers with less than 25 employees and non-profit employers);

✅ I-129 for E, H-3, P, Q, R, TN Fee from $460 to $1015 ($510 for employers with less than 25 employees and non-profit employers);

✅ I-140 immigrant visa petition fees will increase from $700.00 to $715.00

✅ I-526 (EB-5) fees increased from $3675.00 to $11,160! An increase of 204%

✅ The Form I-829 (Petition by Investor to Remove Conditions on Permanent Resident Status) fee will be raised to $9,525, from $3,835 for most – a 148% increase for those that require biometrics.

New Process for Adjustment of Status Applications:

USCIS will impose a fee of $1,440 on most adjustment of status applications, with a reduced fee of $950 for applicants under the age of 14 who are applying concurrently with a parent.

USCIS will also “unbundle” employment authorization document (EAD) and advance parole fees from the adjustment of status filing fee. Under the new fee schedule, foreign nationals who file an adjustment application on or after April 1 and who want an EAD or advance parole must pay an additional fee for each document!  USCIS will charge a reduced fee of $260 for Form I-765 employment authorization applications filed concurrently with the adjustment application, and for EAD renewals during the pendency of the adjustment.

Applicants who want an advance parole document will pay a fee of $630 for their initial Form I-131 and for subsequent advance parole renewals; there will be no discount for advance parole applications concurrently filed with adjustment applications or for advance parole renewals during the pendency of the adjustment.

Recommended action: Employers, individual applicants and investors able to file their petitions now, should do so. Employers should also consider the budgetary implications of the higher filing fees when deciding on your immigration plans for employees.

For more information or questions, please contact Kripa Upadhyay or the KTC attorney with whom you typically work.