USCIS Dramatically Raises Filing Fees in 2024

On January 30, 2024, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced a dramatic increase in nearly all filing fees for immigration and naturalization benefit requests. The new filing fees, effective April 01, 2024, disproportionately impose greater burdens on all businesses. This follows upon USCIS’s notice on December 27, 2023 to increase premium processing service filing fees effective February 26, 2024.

January 2024 Announcement to Increase Fees

USCIS, after its comprehensive biennial fee review, claims that its operational costs have significantly risen. The reasons are multifaceted: expanded humanitarian programs, increased demand, elongated processing times, and the need for more staff. Facing budget cuts, USCIS is at a crossroads; without adjusting fees, they claim service levels will continue to suffer, and operational efficiency will decline even further than current backlogs and wait times showcase.

The proposed changes are extensive: adjusting current fees, introducing new fees for certain requests, setting distinct fees for nonimmigrant worker petitions, and placing beneficiary limits on certain forms. Without these changes, USCIS officials say the risk of not meeting service standards for applicants and petitioners increases, leading to prolonged processing times and backlogs.

USCIS Demands Business Support the Asylum Program

The base filing fee for all employer-sponsored nonimmigrant filings increases dramatically as follows:

From US$460.00 to US$780.00 for H-1B employees, a 70% increase

From US$460.00 to US$1,385.00 for L-1 employees, a 200% increase

From US$460.00 to US$1,015.00 for E-1/E-2/E-3 employees, a 120% increase

Further, the USCIS introduced a new additional filing fee required by employers for all nonimmigrant and immigrant filings on top of the filing fee increases.  This new filing fee, set at US$600.00, is intended to subsidize the USCIS Asylum Program.

The filing increases are somewhat less for companies that have 25 or fewer full-time employees.

At Valvo & Associates, we recognize the evolving landscape of US immigration and the financial burdens it places on individuals and businesses. We are dedicated to assisting businesses and individuals in navigating these changes in the US immigration process. For guidance through these shifting financial and regulatory reforms, contact Valvo & Associates.

By Brandon Valvo