USCIS fee regulation set to take effect in October

31 Jul 20

UNITED STATES

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has posted its final fee regulation for public inspection.

Key points:

  • The regulation is scheduled to be published in the Federal Register on Monday, and the prepublication version states that it will not take effect until 60 days after official publication (Oct. 2).
  • The rule will significantly increase filing fees across the board, introduce new fees and eliminate some fee reductions. H-1B petition filing fees would increase by 21%; L-1 petition fees would increase by 75%. The 9-11 response and biometric entry-exit fee of $4,500 for L-1 petitions and $4,000 for H-1B petitions will apply to all covered petitions, including new and extension petitions, by employers with more than 50 employees and more than 50% of their workforce in H-1B or L-1 status.
  • The current Form I-129 Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker will be separated into new forms for each visa classification, such as H-1, L, O, TN, with their own filing fees. USCIS will post new and revised forms 30 days before the rule goes into effect (Sept. 2) and the new forms will become mandatory Oct. 2.
  • The premium processing time frame will be lengthened from about two weeks (15 calendar days) to about three weeks (15 business days).
Category Current Fee Final Fee Change ($) Change (%)
H-1B $460 $555 $95 21%
L-1 $460 $805 $345 75%
O $460 $705 $245 53%
E $460 $695 $235 51%
TN $460 $695 $235 51%
LPR or Adjustment of Status $1,140 $1,130 $10 -1%
AOS for derivative children under 14 $750 $1,130 $380 51%
Employment Authorization (non-DACA) $410 $550 $140 34%
Naturalization (online) $640 $1,160 $520 81%
Naturalization (paper) $640/$320 $1,170 $530/$850 83%/266%

BAL Analysis: Current fee levels will remain in effect until the new rule takes effect. Employers should prepare for the increases in USCIS filing fees this fall. The rule may be subject to litigation, which could affect implementation timelines. BAL is reviewing the rule and will provide additional analysis in coming days.

This alert has been provided by the BAL U.S. Practice group. For additional information, please contact berryapplemanleiden@balglobal.com.

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