Proposed USCIS Fee Increases to Hit Employers, Business Immigration Filings
Wednesday, February 22, 2023

U.S. employers may soon face significantly higher fees to sponsor foreign national workers. On Jan. 4, 2023, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) proposing significant filing fee increases for nonimmigrant and immigrant petitions. The rule is currently in the 60-day comment period, which concludes March 6. 

These proposed fee increases are quite considerable. Under the proposed rule, employers could pay 70 percent more for H-1B ($780), 201 percent more for L-1 ($1,385), 129 percent more for O-1 ($1,055), and 121 percent more for E and TN filings. For I-140 petitions, the proposed filing fee increase is more modest at 2 percent ($700 to $715).

In addition, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) wishes to introduce a separate $600 Asylum Program Fee payment for I-129 and I-140 petitions to shift costs of asylum and humanitarian relief programs. 

The USCIS also proposes removing the bundled fee benefit for Adjustment of Status (I-485) petitions filed with Advance Parole (I-131) and Employment Application Documents (I-765) petitions, increasing the filing fee by 130 percent ($1,125 to $2,820). 

Below is a chart of common employment-based petitions affected by the proposal:

Immigration Process

Current Filing Fee

Proposed Filing Fee

Filing Fee Increase (%)

H-1B Pre-Registration Fee

$10

$215

2050%

H-1B Pre-Registration Fee

$460

$780

70%

I-129 L Petition

$460

$1,385

201%

I-129 O Petition

$460

$1,055

129%

I-129 E and TN Petition

$460

$1,015

121%

I-130 Petition

$535

$710

33%

I-140 Petition

$700

$715

2%

I-485 Petition

$1,225

$1,540

26%

I-485 Petition (children under the age of 14) 

$750

$1,540

105%

I-485 Petition (Filed with I-131 and I-765) 

$1,225

$2,820

130%

I-765 Petition Paper Filing

$410

$650

59%

I-765 Petition Online Filing

$410

$555

35%

I-539 Petition Paper Filing

$370 (without biometrics)

$620

68%

I-539 Petition Online Filing

$370 (without biometrics)

$525

42%

N-400 Petition

$640

$760

19%

 I-751 Petition

$595 (without biometrics)

$1,195

101%

A complete chart of USCIS’ current and proposed fee increases is available starting on page 407 of Notice of Proposed Rulemaking.

In addition, the USCIS proposes changes to the premium processing timeline. Under the proposed rule, the premium processing service would change from 15 calendar days to 15 business days effectively increasing the processing time. 

At the conclusion of the 60-day comment period, the USCIS will publish a final rule. The proposed fee increases will not affect this year’s H-1B pre-registration. 

Maritza Heard, immigration specialist at Barnes & Thornburg, also contributed to this article.

 

NLR Logo

We collaborate with the world's leading lawyers to deliver news tailored for you. Sign Up to receive our free e-Newsbulletins

 

Sign Up for e-NewsBulletins