U.S. employers may soon face significantly higher fees to sponsor foreign national workers. On Jan. 4, 2023, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) proposing significant filing fee increases for nonimmigrant and immigrant petitions. The rule is currently in the 60-day comment period, which concludes March 6.
These proposed fee increases are quite considerable. Under the proposed rule, employers could pay 70 percent more for H-1B ($780), 201 percent more for L-1 ($1,385), 129 percent more for O-1 ($1,055), and 121 percent more for E and TN filings. For I-140 petitions, the proposed filing fee increase is more modest at 2 percent ($700 to $715).
In addition, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) wishes to introduce a separate $600 Asylum Program Fee payment for I-129 and I-140 petitions to shift costs of asylum and humanitarian relief programs.
The USCIS also proposes removing the bundled fee benefit for Adjustment of Status (I-485) petitions filed with Advance Parole (I-131) and Employment Application Documents (I-765) petitions, increasing the filing fee by 130 percent ($1,125 to $2,820).
Below is a chart of common employment-based petitions affected by the proposal:
Current Filing Fee
Proposed Filing Fee
Filing Fee Increase (%)
|H-1B Pre-Registration Fee||$10||$215||2050%|
|H-1B Pre-Registration Fee||$460||$780||70%|
|I-129 L Petition||$460||$1,385||201%|
|I-129 O Petition||$460||$1,055||129%|
|I-129 E and TN Petition||$460||$1,015||121%|
|I-485 Petition (children under the age of 14)||$750||$1,540||105%|
|I-485 Petition (Filed with I-131 and I-765)||$1,225||$2,820||130%|
|I-765 Petition Paper Filing||$410||$650||59%|
|I-765 Petition Online Filing||$410||$555||35%|
|I-539 Petition Paper Filing||$370 (without biometrics)||$620||68%|
|I-539 Petition Online Filing||$370 (without biometrics)||$525||42%|
|I-751 Petition||$595 (without biometrics)||$1,195||101%|
A complete chart of USCIS’ current and proposed fee increases is available starting on page 407 of Notice of Proposed Rulemaking.
In addition, the USCIS proposes changes to the premium processing timeline. Under the proposed rule, the premium processing service would change from 15 calendar days to 15 business days effectively increasing the processing time.
At the conclusion of the 60-day comment period, the USCIS will publish a final rule. The proposed fee increases will not affect this year’s H-1B pre-registration.