H-1B and Green Card Fee Increase Clears Final Review

A pivotal development in the realm of immigration fees has emerged as the overhaul proposal for H-1B and Green Card fees successfully passed the White House review, as reported by Bloomberg Law. Identified as proposal 1615-AC68, this significant step paves the way for the official publication of the rule, signaling noteworthy adjustments to fees associated with both temporary and permanent work visas.

The proposed changes, outlined in a draft fee rule by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services last year, include a 40% increase in registration fees for H-1B specialty occupation visas, reaching $215. This is anticipated to impact applicants across various categories, with the primary burden falling on employment-based visa petitioners. The initial proposal, introduced in January 2023 as the Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM), suggested substantial fee increments for various visa-related applications.

If the final rule aligns with the proposed changes from January 2023, it could result in a significant rise in costs for US employers sponsoring immigrant employees. Notably, sponsors filing H-1B visa applications could face substantial fee hikes, including a surge in E-registration costs for the annual H-1B cap lottery from $10 to $215, aimed at deterring lottery misuse. Additionally, fees for selected beneficiaries’ applications were expected to increase by 70% to $780.

The impact of these fee changes on the opening of the FY 2025 H-1B cap season in March 2024 remains uncertain.

The US immigration agency has already announced an increase in premium processing fees for H-1B applications, set to rise by 12% to $2,805 from February 26. Employers sponsoring H-1B applications will need to consider these additional costs. The NPRM also proposed fee increases for citizenship (naturalization), with costs elevating from $640 to $760, marking a 19% increase. Notably, significant proposed hikes were outlined for EB-5 investors participating in the investment-linked green card program.

As per the NPRM, initial I-526 petition fees for investors were set to rise by 204% to $11,160, and I-829 petition fees for the removal of conditions on permanent resident status would increase by 148% to $9,535. The final impact of these proposed changes will be revealed once the rule is officially published.


Source: MSN