On January 4, 2023, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) that would increase fees for specific immigration and naturalization benefit requests. The department’s U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) cited the expansion of humanitarian programs, federally mandated pay raises, additional staffing requirements, and the need for essential investments as reasons for the proposed increases.
The sixty-day public comment period, which concludes on March 6, 2023, began on January 4, 2023, with the publication of the NPRM in the Federal Register. The current fees will not change until after the final rule goes into effect and the fee schedule is finalized by DHS in response to comments received.
The following is a sample of the proposed fee changes for some of the most commonly used business immigration benefits.
|Form / Visa type||Current fee||Proposed fee||Percent change|
|I-129, E or TN||$460||$1,015||121|
|H-1B electronic registration fee||$10||$215||2,050|
|I-485, adjustment (with biometric services)||$1,225||$1,540||26|
|I-485 and I-131 (with biometric services)||$1,225||$2,170||77|
|I-485, I-131, and I-765 (filed on paper) with biometric services||$1,225||$2,820||130|
DHS has also announced its intention to make the following process changes:
DHS would extend the premium processing timeframe so that the agency has fifteen business days to process petitions and applications, as opposed to the existing fifteen calendar days.
DHS seeks to incorporate the biometric costs into the main benefit fee.
DHS has indicated that the Form I-129 would have a distinct fee associated with various visa classifications (such as H-1B, L, E, and TN).
DHS would offer lower filing fees for some forms filed online.
Ogletree Deakins’ Immigration Practice Group will continue to monitor developments with respect to these and other policy changes and will post updates on the Immigration blog as additional information becomes available. Important information for employers is also available via the firm’s webinar and podcast programs.