Proposals to Increase US Visa & Nationality Application Fees
USCIS has published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to increase certain US immigration and naturalisation fees.
The notice follows proposals in December 2022 from the Biden Administration to increase the cost of some petition-based employment visas and other immigation routes.
USICS fees have stayed the same since 2016. The proposals aim to make USCIS 100% fee funded, with no reliance on congressional funds; currently, the department is funded by filing fees for approximately 96% of its operating costs. The USCIS announcement states: “The new fees would allow USCIS to more fully recover its operating costs, reestablish and maintain timely case processing, and prevent the accumulation of future case backlogs.”
What are the proposed changes?
- Separate fees are to be introduced for H-1B, L-1, as well as other nonimmigrant applications. There is also a planned 70% increase in the application rate, from $460 to $780.
- L-1 petition fees are proposed to be increased by 201%, from $460 to $1,385.
- H-1B cap registrations are to increase from $10 to $215.
- These increased fees are to also include the cost for biometrics, with the spearate biometrics fee being removed.
- USCIS is also proposing to introduce a new $600 fee for Asylum Program applications.
Other changes include proposals to change the processing time for premiums will shift from 15 calendar days to 15 business days.
When will the changes take effect?
A public consultation is now open for 60 days on the proposals. Comments will be accepted by USCIS until March 6, 2023.
The changes will only take effect if and when the final rule is published.
NNU Immigration are dedicated US immigration attorneys based in London. For specialist advice on US visas and nationality applications, contact us.
This article does not constitute direct legal advice and is for informational purposes only.