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How to Pepare for US Work Visa Fees Increases from April 1

By Nita Nicole Upadhye

Table of Contents

How to Pepare for US Work Visa Fees Increases from April 1

Effective April 1, 2024, US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is implementing significant fee increases for various work visa categories, including the highly sought-after H-1B visa. This substantial increase poses a financial hurdle for companies reliant on foreign talent.

Proactive planning can help businesses prepare for -and minimize – the impact of the increases:

 

Budgetary Planning and Cost Absorption

Conduct a thorough analysis of your current and projected work visa needs. Estimate the number of applications you plan to submit across different visa categories (H-1B, L-1, EB-5 etc.) and calculate the total fee increase under the new structure.

Factor the additional costs into your talent acquisition budget. Consider allocating additional resources or exploring cost-absorption strategies. This might involve partially or fully covering the increased fees for high-value hires.

Communicate the fee changes openly with internal stakeholders, including hiring managers and HR departments. This transparency can help manage expectations and ensure smooth budgeting for future visa applications.

 

Streamlining the Application Process

For petitions with a flexible timeline, consider filing them before April 1st to benefit from the current fee structure. This can offer significant cost savings, especially for bulk applications.

Partner with experienced immigration attorneys to ensure applications are complete, accurate, and meet all USCIS requirements. Minimizing errors or requests for evidence (RFEs) can expedite processing and avoid additional fees associated with refiling.

Evaluate if alternative visa options with lower fees exist that could suit specific employee needs. For example, consider L- visas for intracompany transfers or TN visas for certain professions under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

 

Optimizing Talent Acquisition Strategies

Strengthen justification for sponsoring foreign workers. Clearly demonstrate that you’ve exhausted all efforts to recruit qualified US citizens before seeking foreign talent. This could involve showcasing documented recruitment efforts, advertising strategies, and wage competitiveness.

Enhance internal training programs to upskill existing American employees, potentially reducing reliance on foreign workers in the long run. Consider sponsoring relevant certifications or encouraging participation in industry conferences to foster professional growth.

Focus on retaining high-performing foreign workers already on your payroll. Streamline the process for renewing existing visas and consider offering competitive compensation packages to incentivize them to stay.

 

Leveraging Technology and Resources

Utilize specialized immigration management software to streamline the application process. These tools can help track deadlines, manage documents, and ensure compliance with USCIS regulations.

Stay updated on the latest USCIS regulations and policy changes by collaborating with relevant industry associations or subscribing to immigration law publications.

Consider engaging with industry groups that advocate for immigration reform. Lobbying efforts can influence future policies and potentially lead to more streamlined and affordable work visa programs.

 

 

NNU Immigration can help

NNU Immigration are specialist US immigration attorneys. We work with employers to support talent mobility to the US through consultancy and visa application services.

If you have a question about your organization’s US-based talent needs, speak to our experts.

This article does not constitute direct legal advice and is for informational purposes only.

Author

Founder & Principal Attorney Nita Nicole Upadhye is a recognized leader in the field of US business immigration law (AILA) and trusted adviser to large corporates through to SMEs, providing strategic immigration and global mobility advice to support employers with both US and UK operations to meet their workforce needs through corporate immigration.

Nita successfully acts for corporations and professionals, entrepreneurs, artists, actors, and athletes from across the globe, providing expert guidance on all aspects of US visa and nationality applications, and talent mobility to the USA.

Nita is an active public speaker, thought leader, immigration commentator, and immigration policy contributor and regularly hosts training sessions for employers and HR professionals

Need legal advice?

For specialist advice on your query, get in touch with our team of US immigration attorneys.​

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Need legal advice?

For specialist advice on your query, get in touch with our team of US immigration attorneys.

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For specialist advice on a US immigration or nationality matter for your business, contact our US immigration attorneys.

For specialist advice on a US immigration or nationality matter for your business, contact our US immigration attorneys.