All You Need to Know About US Asylum Program Fee


By Imagility

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Table of Contents 

Overview of the Asylum Program Fee
Purpose of the Asylum Program Fee
How Much is the US Asylum Program Fee?
Determining Eligibility for Reduced Fees

Seeking asylum in the United States is a pathway for many who face persecution and danger in their home countries. The process offers protection to those who have fled their homeland due to fear of persecution based on race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.

However, the recent hike in the asylum fee has sparked significant debate about its accessibility and fairness. In this blog, we’ll explore everything you need to know about the US asylum program fee.

Here we go!

Overview of the Asylum Program Fee

As of April 1, 2024, a new fee, the Asylum Program Fee, was introduced. This $600 fee applies to most employers who file the following forms:

Form I-129: Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker

Form I-129CW: Petition for a CNMI-Only Nonimmigrant Transitional Worker

Form I-140: Immigrant Petition for Alien Workers

This $600 charge is in addition to the existing filing fees required for each of these forms.

Purpose of the Asylum Program Fee

Despite its name, the Asylum Program Fee is not a charge for filing an asylum application itself. Instead, it is designed to help offset the costs associated with processing asylum applications, which do not have their own direct filing fee. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) calculated this fee to generate revenue that approximates the annual expenses of handling asylum claims.

By incorporating this fee into the costs for Forms I-129, I-129CW, and I-140, DHS anticipates raising about $313 million annually to support the adjudication of asylum applications by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

How Much is the US Asylum Program Fee?

The Asylum Program Fee is structured differently based on the size of the employer:

Larger Employers: The fee is $600 for employers with more than 25 full-time equivalent employees.

Small Employers: Employers with 25 or fewer full-time equivalent employees qualify for a reduced fee of $300.

Determining Eligibility for Reduced Fees

To qualify for the reduced fee as a small employer, you may need to provide evidence such as:

IRS Form 941: Employer’s Quarterly Federal Return.

IRS Form 943: Employer’s Annual Tax Return for Agricultural Workers.

Nonprofit organizations seeking eligibility for fee reductions or exemptions should provide documentation like:

IRS Determination Letter: Confirming the nonprofit status.

IRS Tax Exemption Certificate: Showing the current tax-exempt status.

Additional Fee Context

This Asylum Program Fee is in addition to the already required filing fees for Forms I-129, I-129CW, or I-140, which have also seen significant increases under the Final Rule.

Discounts for Online Filing

For forms that USCIS offers online filing, there is typically a $50 discount available if you choose to file electronically instead of on paper, with certain exceptions.

This fee structure adjustment reflects efforts to balance operational costs while accommodating smaller businesses and nonprofit organizations within the US immigration framework.


As discussed above, the Asylum Program Fee, effective from April 1, 2024, introduces a significant change to the US immigration system. It imposes a $600 fee on larger employers and $300 on smaller ones for filing Forms I-129, I-129CW, and I-140. This fee aims to offset the costs of processing asylum claims, reflecting a broader effort to generate revenue for the USCIS.

While not directly affecting asylum seekers, the fee raises important issues of accessibility and fairness. Understanding these changes is crucial for employers, nonprofits, and those navigating the US asylum process before applying for an Asylum visa.

You can also get assistance from our AI-enabled immigration software, which has helped thousands of Asylum seekers sail through their Asylum visa journey. The software enables you to create petitions accurately and effortlessly to increase visa outcome rates. For more information on how Imagility can help you in your Asylum visa journey, contact us at

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