USCIS’s New Fee Rule and New Edition Forms for Employment-Based Applications

Starting April 1, 2024, a revised fee schedule from the USCIS is set to be implemented, resulting in higher filing fees for numerous immigration benefit petitioners and applicants. The final rule, scheduled for publication in the Federal Register on January 31, indicates a substantial increase, especially for those filing employment-based petitions. This updated fee structure will be applicable to the USCIS petitions and applications postmarked on April 1, 2024 or thereafter.
Changes at a glance as per the final rule:

• Commencing April 1, 2024, the USCIS is set to implement escalated and distinct filing fees for various nonimmigrant case types, including H-1B, L-1 and others. Notably, the H-1B petition fee is slated to surge to $780, marking a substantial 70% increase from its current level of $460. Meanwhile, the L-1 petition fee is expected to experience a significant surge to $1,385, reflecting a substantial 201% increase from the existing $460 fee. It’s worth noting that certain small employers and nonprofit organizations may qualify for reduced fees despite these adjustments.
• In addition to the increased base filing fees, both Forms I-129 and I-140 will now be subject to an additional Asylum Program Fee amounting to $600. It is important to note that nonprofit petitioners will be exempt from this new fee, whereas small employers will be eligible for a reduced fee of $300.
• The H-1B cap registration fee is set to rise to $215 per registration from the current $10. However, this adjustment will not come into effect until the commencement of the FY 2026 cap season, which is scheduled to start in March 2025.
• The rule also extends the premium processing timeframe, shifting from calendar days to business days. Furthermore, it separates adjustment of status and ancillary benefit fees, introducing various other measures.
Moreover, the USCIS encourages stakeholders to refer to the Frequently Asked Questions page on its website for a comprehensive list of the updated forms, which will be enforced from April 1, 2024, along with the corresponding new fees. Notably, there will be a grace period from April 1, 2024, through June 3, 2024, during which the USCIS will accept both the prior and revised editions of certain forms, as long as they are accompanied by the correct fee.
No grace period will be provided for certain new forms (listed below), as they require a revision in fee calculation. To access a preview version of each upcoming form edition before the effective date on April 1, 2024, you may refer to the form links provided on the USCIS website.

• Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker;
• Form I-129 CW, Petition for a CNMI-Only Nonimmigrant Transitional Worker;
• Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Workers;
• Form I-600A, Application for Advance Processing of an Orphan Petition (and supplement 1, 2 and 3); and
• Form I-600, Petition to Classify Orphan as an Immediate Relative.
The USCIS will use the postmark date to determine whether the applicant or petitioner used the correct form and paid the required fees. However, for any regulatory or statutory filing deadlines the USCIS will use the receipt date of an application.

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