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The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has issued a regulatory update, announcing significant changes in filing fees for various immigration benefit petitions and applications, with a particular emphasis on substantial increases for numerous employment-based filings. This comprehensive adjustment is scheduled to come into effect on April 1, 2024, and brings forth several noteworthy modifications:

  1. I-129 Filing Fee Variations:
    • The I-129 filing fees will now fluctuate based on visa classification and employer type.
    • For all petitioners, excluding IRC § 501(c)(3) nonprofits and employers with 25 or fewer full-time equivalent employees, the I-129 filing fees will undergo substantial increments:
      • H-1B petitions: $460 to $780
      • L-1 petitions: $460 to $1,385
      • O-1 petitions: $460 to $1,055
      • TN, E, and other petitions: $460 to $1,015
  2. EB-5 Petition Fee Adjustments:
    • EB-5 petitions for standalone investors (I-526) and regional center investors (I-526E) will observe a remarkable increase from $3,675 to $11,160.
    • Filing fees for investors seeking to remove conditions on residence (I-829) will rise from $3,750 to $9,525.
  3. H-1B Cap Registration Fee Changes:
    • Commencing with the FY2026 H-1B cap season, the H-1B cap registration fee is set to escalate from $10 to $215.
    • However, the H-1B cap registration fee will remain at $10 for the FY2025 H-1B cap.
  4. Additional Filing Fees:
    • A new $600 ‘Asylum Program Fee’ will be imposed on all I-129 and I-140 petitions, excluding small employers and nonprofits, in addition to the increased base filing fee.
    • Small employers (with 25 or fewer full-time equivalent employees) will face a $300 ‘Asylum Program Fee’ on top of the enhanced base filing fee.
    • IRC § 501(c)(3) nonprofit petitioners will be exempt from the ‘Asylum Program Fee.’
  5. Procedural Changes:
    • Premium processing timelines will be extended, with adjudication periods measured in 15 business days instead of calendar days.
    • Biometrics fees will be incorporated into main fees for nearly all applicable case types.
    • Separate fees for adjustment of status (I-485), employment authorization (I-765), and advance parole (I-131) applications will be required, even when filed concurrently.
    • In cases where online filing is permissible, the online filing fee will be lower than the paper filing fee.

These revisions, taking effect in April 2024, mark a substantial shift in the cost structure associated with various immigration processes, particularly impacting employers and investors involved in employment-based immigration. We strongly advise on considering these changes when planning and budgeting for immigration-related activities.

Download comprehensive updates on fee schedule here.

If you have any questions or need further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us for a consultation. Our dedicated team is here to support you through the petition process and address any concerns you may have.