US Increases Fees for H-1B and Green Card Applications

US Increases Fees for H-1B and Green Card Applications3

The USCIS Introduces Revised Fees for Immigration and Naturalization Benefit Requests, Marking the First Adjustment in Over Seven Years. USCIS Director Ur M. Jaddou Highlights the Update's Purpose to Better Meet Agency Needs and Ensure Timely Decisions for Applicants.

Key Highlights of the Final Fee Rule for U.S. Immigration Services

While news articles may highlight fee increases, understanding the story is crucial.

Here's a breakdown of the critical points beyond just the headline:

Annual Cost Recovery Reduction:

  • While some fees are increasing, the overall revenue goal for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has decreased by $727 million.
  • The agency expects to become more efficient, reducing its reliance on fees to cover operational costs. This efficiency could translate to faster processing times and improved services.

Fee Changes:

  • Increases: Certain fees range from 10% to 83%, with categories like H-1B and L-1 visas, naturalisation applications, and I-9 employment verification forms seeing adjustments.
  • Decreases: Some fees, including those for specific asylum applications and humanitarian petitions, are decreasing. This reflects government efforts to make these essential services more accessible.
  • New Fees: New fees for specific services, such as certain premium processing options and biometric data collection.

Rationale Behind the Changes

  • The fee adjustments aim to achieve more equitable cost-sharing between applicants and the U.S. government.
  • USCIS argues rising operational costs necessitate higher fees for some categories.
  • Fee increases for high-skilled visas, for example, could discourage frivolous applications while raising revenue for processing efficiency improvements.

Impact on Applicants

  • Be prepared for increased costs associated with certain immigration applications.
  • Carefully research specific fees related to your intended application category.
  • Explore potential waivers or exemptions that may apply to your situation.

Understanding the broader context and rationale behind the fee rule allows you to make informed decisions and navigate the immigration process more effectively. Always refer to official government websites for the latest and most accurate information. The final rule, effective from April 1, 2024,


Are all immigration fees increasing?

No, while some fees are rising, others are decreasing, and the overall agency cost recovery target has decreased by $727 million. This suggests a focus on efficiency in USCIS operations.

Which application types will see the most significant fee hikes?

Categories like H-1B and L-1 visas, naturalisation applications, and I-9 forms face increases ranging from 10% to 83%. However, specific details vary, so research your intended application carefully.

Are there any fee reductions?

Yes, specific asylum applications and humanitarian petitions will see fee reductions, making these essential services more accessible.

Are there any new fees introduced?

New fees apply to specific services like premium processing options and biometric data collection.

How will this impact me as an applicant?

Prepare for potential cost increases based on your application type. Thoroughly research specific fees and explore any available waivers or exemptions. Consider consulting an immigration attorney for personalised guidance.

Does this mean processing times will improve?

While USCIS aims to use increased revenue for efficiency improvements, predicting processing time changes is difficult. Monitor official updates and consider using premium processing options (subject to new fees) if expedited service is crucial