USCIS Fee Rule Takes Effect April 1 with Significant Increases for Employment-Based Filings

A new USCIS fee schedule, slated to take effect on April 1, will increase filing fees for many immigration benefit petitioners and applicants, and particularly steeply for employment-based petitioners, according to a new USCIS Final Rule.  The new fee schedule will apply to USCIS petitions and applications postmarked April 1, 2024 or later.

Key Highlights of the new USCIS Final Rule include:

  • The new fee schedule will be in effect as of April 1st, 2024.
  • The new “Standard Asylum Program Fee” is $600 and applicable to all I-129 and I-140 petitions.
  • The premium processing adjudication period has been extended from 15 calendar days to 15 business days for most case types.
  • Increases in Premium Processing fees are in effect sooner, as of February 26, 2024.
  • H-1B cap registration fees will increase from $10 to $215, though not in effect until FY2026 for the cap season that begins March of 2025.

Notably, for employers with more than 25 employees, the fee for H-1B petitions will increase from $460 to $780, and for L-1 petitions, it will go from $460 to $1,385.

Additionally, the H-1B registration fee will increase from $10 to $215, although this adjustment will not be effective for the upcoming H-1B registration period between March 6-22, 2024. However, USCIS intends to implement the higher fee for H-1B petitions upon the commencement of cap filing on April 1, 2024. All applications filed on April 1, 2024 or after must include the new fees.

This rule also introduces a $600 Asylum Program Fee which will be added to each Form I-129 and Form I-140 filing in addition to the other filing fees. The asylum fee will be $300 for small employers (with 25 or fewer employees) and exempts nonprofit organizations.

USCIS increased the Premium Processing fee for H-1B cases from $2,500 to $2,805, and lengthened the premium processing timeframe from calendar days to business days, effective February 26,2024.   

A summary chart of the fee increases is included below.

What steps should employers do now to prepare for the new fee schedule?

Sponsoring employers should account for the budget impact of increased filing fees, and should take into consideration the longer premium processing timeline when planning Form I-129 and Form I-140 filings. Employers and their immigration counsel will also see an array of updated editions of key USCIS application and petition forms, which are expected to become mandatory on April 1.

Petitioners and applicants wishing to benefit from the current USCIS fee structure and existing forms should work with their MHS team to prepare cases for submission before April 1.

MHS is closely following the implementation of the new fee schedule. Additional client alerts will be issued as developments occur.

USCIS Form

Current Fee

New Fee
Effective April 1, 2024

Percent Change

EMPLOYMENT-BASED PETITION FEES

Standard Asylum Program Fee
(applicable to I-129 and I-140 petitions)

N/A

$600

N/A

Asylum Program Fee – Small Employers

(applicable to I-129 and I-140 petitions filed by sponsoring employers having 25 or fewer full-time equivalent employees across all related US affiliate companies)

N/A

$300

N/A

NONIMMIGRANT

Form I-129 H-1B and H-1B1 Classifications

$460

$780

70%

Form I-129 H-1B and H-1B1 Classifications – Small Employers (defined above) and Nonprofits

$460

$460

0%

Form I-129 H-2B – Named Beneficiaries

$460

$1,080

135%

Form I-129 H-2B – Named Beneficiaries – Small Employers (defined above) and Nonprofits

$460

$540

17%

Form I-129 H-2B – Unnamed Beneficiaries

$460

$580

26%

Form I-129 H-2B – Unnamed Beneficiaries – Small Employers (defined above) and Nonprofits

$460

$460

0%

Form I-129 L Classification

$460

$1,385

201%

Form I-129 L Classification – Small Employers (defined above) and Nonprofits

$460

$695

51%

Form I-129 O Classification

$460

$1,055

129%

Form I-129 O Classification – Small Employers (defined above) and Nonprofits

$460

$530

15%

Form I-129 E-1, E-2, E-3, TN, H-3, P, Q, R Classifications

$460

$1,015

121%

Form I-129 E-1, E-2, E-3, TN, H-3, P, Q, R Classifications – Small Employers (defined above) and Nonprofits

$460

$510

11%

Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status – Online

$370

$420

14%*

Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status – Paper

$370

$470

27%*

IMMIGRANT

Form I-140 Immigrant Visa Petition

$700

$715

2%

Form I-526, Immigrant Petition by Standalone Investor

$3,675

$11,160

204%

Form I-526E, Immigrant Petition by Regional Center Investor

$3,675

$11,160

204%

Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status**

$1,140

$1,440

26%

Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status (applicants under 14 applying concurrently with parent)

$750

$950

27%

Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization – Online (both immigrant and nonimmigrant-related)

$410

$470***

15%*

Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization – Paper (both immigrant and nonimmigrant-related)

$410

$520***

27%*

Form I-131, Application for Travel Document

$575

$630

10%

Biometrics Fee

****Biometrics fee is now included in base fee for all cases except TPS and EOIR applicants, who are subject to a reduced biometrics fee of $30

$85

N/A****

0%

Form I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card – Online

$455

$415

-9%

Form I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card – Paper

$455

$465

2%

CITIZENSHIP

Form N-400, Application for Naturalization – Online

$640

$710

11%

Form N-400, Application for Naturalization – Paper

$640

$760

19%

 *The percentage reflects the change from the current base filing fee, exclusive of separate biometrics fee, which will now be included in the new base filing fee.

**For adult applicants, exclusive of separate biometric fee, which will now be included in the new base filing fee.

***Adjustment of status applicants will pay half the standard I-765 fee if they paid the full fee for a concurrently filed or pending adjustment application