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On January 31, 2024, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) published a final rule to adjust certain immigration and naturalization benefit request fees, effective April 1, 2024. Employers will see significant increases on the fees they pay to submit petitions for workers and to sponsor employees for permanent residence. The agency stated that the fee increases will “…allow USCIS to recover a greater share of its operating costs and support more timely processing of new applications.” This is the first major adjustment in USCIS filing fees since 2016. Notably, the Service is implementing different fees for each type of visa classification sought on Form I‑129 nonimmigrant worker petition, replacing the uniform $460 Form I‑129 filing fee across all classifications. 

Highlights

  • H-1B Cap Registration Fee Increase: For fiscal year 2025, the H-1B registration fee will remain the same at $10. Starting in March 2025, the H-1B registration fee will increase to $215 for fiscal year 2026 and beyond, a 2050% increase.
  • New Asylum Program Fee: Employers filing forms I-129 and I-140 will be required to pay an additional $600 Asylum Program Fee. Small employers (defined as those with 25 or fewer fulltime employees) will be required to pay a reduced fee of $300, and nonprofit employers will be exempt.

Fee changes for specific classifications on Form I-129, Form I-140, and Form I-485

  • I-129 H-1B petition filing fee will increase from $460 to $780, a 70% increase
  • I-129 L-1 petition filing fee will increase from $460 to $1,385, a 201% increase
  • I-129 filing fee for E, H-3, P, Q, R, or TN petitions will increase from $460 to $1,015, a 121% increase
  • I-129 O-1 petition filing fee will increase from $460 to $1,055, a 129% increase
  • I-140 immigrant worker petition fees will increase only slightly, from $700 to $715, a 2% increase
  • I-485 Application To Adjust Status (including biometric services) fees will increase from $1,225 to $1,440, and 18% increase

A full list of fees can be found here.

Employers should note that petitioners with 25 or fewer employees, nonprofits (as defined in the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) section 501(c)(3)), government research organizations and educational institutions will pay discounted fees.

Additional Key Takeaways

Employment Authorization and Advance Parole Filing Fees

Along with increasing filing fees, USCIS will “unbundle” employment authorization document (EAD) and advance parole (AP) fees from the adjustment of status filing fee. Applicants who file for an EAD (Form I‑765) alongside their adjustment of status application (Form I‑485) must pay a $260 filing fee. Applicants who file for AP (Form I‑131) alongside their adjustment application must pay a $630 filing fee.

Premium Processing

Finally, sponsoring employers should take note of important changes to both the cost and the timeline of USCIS’ premium processing service. USCIS will extend the premium timeframe to 15 business days, as opposed to the current 15 calendar days, effectively prolonging the agency’s adjudication timeline by up to 4 additional days. In addition, as announced on December 27, 2023, premium processing fees will increase from $2,500 to $2,805 effective February 26, 2024.

Employers seeking to benefit from the current USCIS fee structure should work with their Hunton attorneys to submit cases before April 1, if possible. Hunton will continue to monitor developments and provide updates at Business Immigration Insights as information becomes available.