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Quick Hits

  • USCIS has issued a final rule that increases immigration benefit request fees, including for many employment-based petitions and applications, effective April 1, 2024.
  • The H-1B cap registration fee will increase to $215 per registration, but the fee will remain at $10 per registration for the fiscal year 2025 cap registration period, which runs from March 6 to March 22, 2024.
  • The fee for an H-1B petition will increase from $460 to $780.
  • Most of the fee amounts for immigration benefits had not changed since 2016, despite increases in operating costs, USCIS stated in a news release announcing the final rule.

The final rule follows the issuance of a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) by the agency and a public comment period, required as part of the rulemaking process. As previously discussed, the NPRM offered proposed fee changes and process changes. The agency received more than 5,000 public comments in response to the agency’s NPRM. USCIS confirmed that every fee in the final rule is the same or lower than in the proposed rule.

The following is a sample of the fee changes, effective April 1, 2024, for some of the most commonly used business immigration benefits:

Form / Visa TypeCurrent FeeNew FeePercentage Change
I-129, H-1$460$78070%
I-129, L$460$1,385201%
I-129, E, H-3, P, Q, R, or TN$460$1,015121%
I-129, O$460$1,055129%
I-765, Application for Employment Authorization (online)$410$47015%
I-765, Application for Employment Authorization (paper)$410$52027%
I-539, Application to Extend/ Change Nonimmigrant Status (online)$370$42014%
I-539, Application to Extend /Change Nonimmigrant Status (paper)$370$47027%
I-140, Immigrant Petition$700$7152%
I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status (including biometric services)$1,225$1,44018%
I-765, Application for Employment Authorization (filed concurrently with an adjustment of status application or while adjustment of status application remains pending)$0$260 
I-131, Application for Travel Document (filed concurrently with an adjustment of status application or while adjustment of status application remains pending)$0$630 

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) noted in the preamble to the final rule that most of the fees for immigration benefits had not changed since 2016, despite increases in operating costs. The agency described the fee increases as a necessary measure to recover operating costs required to maintain adequate service. USCIS stated in the announcement that the fee increases were intended to allow for “the necessary expansion of humanitarian programs, federally mandated pay raises, additional staffing requirements, and other essential investments.”

Additional Changes

DHS also announced several significant process changes.

Premium Processing

The premium processing timeframe will extend to fifteen business days to process petitions and applications, as opposed to the existing fifteen calendar days.

Biometric Services Fees

Immigration benefit requests will incorporate biometric services fees.

Nonimmigrant Visas

As shown in the table above, USCIS has created a distinct fee for Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, which is associated with various visa classifications (such as H-1B, L, E, and TN).

Lower Fees for Small Employers and Certain Nonprofits

Employers with twenty-five or fewer full-time equivalent employees, nonprofits meeting the definition in the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) section 501(c)(3), government research organizations, and educational institutions will pay discounted fees or no fees (fees will vary based on petition type).

Online Filing

USCIS will offer lower filing fees for some immigration benefit requests filed online rather than on paper.

Asylum Program Fee

USCIS has implemented an Asylum Program Fee to assist with funding related to the administration and processing of asylum applications. A $600 fee is now required for employment-based applications (Forms I-129 and I-140). Small employers and nonprofits will pay a discounted $300 filing fee and nonprofits will be exempted from the Asylum Program Fee.

Employment Authorization and Advance Parole Filing Fees

The previously bundled adjustment of status application (Form I-485) filing fee will now be a standalone filing fee. Applicants who wish to have an employment authorization document (EAD) application (Form I-765) filed alongside their adjustment of status application will incur a $260 filing fee. Applicants who wish to have an advance parole (AP) application (Form I-131) filed alongside their adjustment of status application will incur a $630 filing fee for adjudication.

Ogletree Deakins’ Immigration Practice Group will continue to monitor developments and will provide updates on the Immigration blog as additional information becomes available.

Editor’s Note: This article was updated on February 13, 2024, to clarify information regarding reduced fees and fee exemptions for certain small employers and nonprofits.

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Ogletree Deakins has one of the largest business immigration practices in the United States and provides a wide range of legal services for employers seeking temporary business visas and permanent residence on behalf of foreign national employees.

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