The USCIS issued a Proposed Rule today that will significantly increase the filing fees for certain nonimmigrant and immigrant petitions paid by petitioners seeking to employ foreign national workers. The Proposed Rule is subject to a 60-day comment period that will begin today, January 4, 2023, and end on March 6, 2023. The fee increases contained in the Proposed Rule will not become effective until public comments have been reviewed, a Final Rule published, and a further 60-day period ends. This is not expected to occur until this summer, at the earliest. The USCIS has also published an FAQ document on the Proposed Rule that is available here.
The following are the highlights of the Proposed Rule:
Separate Fees Would be Required for I-129 Petitions Depending Classification Sought
Under the Proposed Rule, the fee paid by a petitioner filing a nonimmigrant petition would vary according to the classification sought. Specifically,
- The I-129 filing fee for an H-1B petition would increase from $460 to $780 (a 70% increase)
- The I-129 filing fee for an L-1 petition would increase from $460 to $1,385 (a 201% increase)
- The I-129 filing fee for a TN petition would increase from $460 to $1,015 (a 121% increase)
- The I-129 filing fee for an O-1 petition would increase from $460 to $1,055 (a 129% increase)
- The I-129 filing fee for an E-1, E-2, or E-3 petition would increase from $460 to $1,015 (a 121% increase)
H-1B Cap Registration Fee
The Proposed Rule seeks to increase the H-1B Cap registration fee from $10 per application to $215 (a 2050% increase). This increase will not be in place for this year’s H-1B Cap filing season, however.
Form I-539 Filing Fee
The filing fee for a Form I-539 application to extend or change status would increase from $370 to $525 if the application is filed online, and from $370 to $620 if the form is mailed to the USCIS.
I-140 Petition Filing Fee
The Proposed Rule seeks to increase the filing fee for an I-140 Immigrant Petition by only $15, from $700 to $715.
Form I-485 Adjustment of Status Application
The Proposed Rule seeks to increase the filing fee for an I-485 Adjustment of Status to Permanent Resident application by $400, from $1,140 to $1,540 (a 35% increase). The fee will be the same for all applicants, regardless of age.
Separate Fees Required for Adjustment-Based EADs and Advance Paroles
Under the Proposed Rule, separate fees would have to be paid by Adjustment of Status applicants who apply for EADs and Advance Paroles on Forms I-765 and I-131, respectively. Currently, the fees for these applications are subsumed under the typical $1,140 Form I-485 filing fee.
N-400 Naturalization Application Form Filing Fee
The Proposed Rule seeks to increase the filing fee for an N-400 Naturalization Application by only $120, from $640 to $760.
No Increase in Form I-907 Premium Processing Fee, but Increase in Processing Time Sought
The Proposed Rule leaves the current $2,500 Premium Processing fee for certain I-129 and I-140 petitions unchanged, but seeks to increase the processing time for petitions filed under Premium Processing from 15 calendar days to 15 business days. The Proposed Rule would allow the Premium Processing fee to be included in a payment that covers other filing fees.
As noted above, the fee increases and other changes sought by the Proposed Rule will not go into effect immediately, but must await the completion of the 60-day Comment Period, the publication of a Final Rule, and the completion of a new 60-day period. We are in the process of analyzing the Proposed Rule closely and will be sending our comments to the USCIS during the Comment Period.