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USCIS H-1B Visa Fee Growth in 2024

USCIS announces significant fee increases for H-1B visa and immigration processes.

Reasons for Visa Fee Increases

  • The U. S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will increase the fees that employers pay to submit petitions for workers and sponsor employees for permanent residence.
  • USCIS cites rising agency costs since the last fee increase in December 2016.
Effective Date: The new fees will take effect on April 1, 2024.

Employer Visa Fee Increases

  • Changes in fees for hiring foreign nationals on various visa categories.
  • Employers will face fee increases for hiring high-skilled foreign nationals on H-1B, L-1, O-1, H-2A, and H-2B petitions, as proposed by the USCIS.
  • The volume of petitions for permanent residency status is expected to increase for both immigrant and investment-based visas.

Controversial Visa Fees: H-1B Registration and Funding the Asylum Program

  • USCIS introduced a new Asylum Program Fee of $600 for employers filing Form I-129 or Form I-140.
  • Employers may need to pay visa this fee multiple times for a single individual, depending on the processes involved.
  • Nonprofits are exempt from paying the Asylum Program Fee, and the fee is reduced for employers with 25 or fewer full-time employees.
  • The H-1B Electronic Registration Fee will increase from $10 to $215. This is a significant 2,050% increase. It will start in 2024.
  • Analysis suggests that if H-1B visa registrations remain similar to FY 2023, employers may have to pay an extra $100 million annually due to the increased fee.
  • USCIS did not explain the need for the higher H-1B registration fee, despite the transition to an electronic registration system. The system aims to reduce administrative costs.

USCIS Revenue Estimate

  • USCIS expects an additional $1.14 billion in revenue. This revenue will likely go to U.S. employers. It would be disappointing if processing times for cases does not improve.
  • USCIS is the only one offering its services. Employers don’t have other options: they either pay the fee, or don’t get their workers.

The USCIS fee adjustments are set to have significant repercussions for both applicants and employers involved in the visa application process.