As anticipated, USCIS published a final rule, effective April 1, 2024, that will significantly raise many immigration and naturalization benefit request fees. Some notable changes from the rule include, but are not limited to: 

  • Establishing separate fees for Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, by nonimmigrant classification (see chart below); 
  • Establishing a new Asylum Program Fee of $600 for Forms I-129 and Forms I-140, in addition to increased base filing fees; 
  • Requiring separate filing fees for Form I-485 (adjustment of status), Form I-131 (travel document), and Form I-765 (employment authorization), whether or not they are filed concurrently (see chart below); 
  • Providing special fee discounts for nonprofits and small employers (25 or fewer full-time equivalent employees), including a 50% ($300) reduction in the Asylum Program Fee for small employers and an exemption from the Asylum Program Fee for nonprofits;  
  • Revising the premium processing timeframe interpretation from calendar days to business days (in other words, a longer adjudicatory timeline); 
  • Allowing half-price Employment Authorization Document applications for applicants for adjustment of status and a reduced fee for adjustment of status applicants under the age of 14 in certain conditions); 
     
  • Implementing a standard $50 discount for online filers; 
  • Eliminating the separate biometrics fee in most cases and combining it into the filing fee for the applicable form; and 
  • Eliminating the $30 returned check fee. 

The chart below details a selection of the fee changes, effective under the new rule.  A comprehensive fee schedule may be found here:  

Type of Filing Current Fee Final Fee (Effective April 1, 2024) % Change 
I-129 H-1B $460 $780 70% 
I-129 H-1B (small employers & nonprofits) $460 $460 0% 
I-129 Petition for L Nonimmigrant workers $460 $1,385 201% 
I-129 Petition for L Nonimmigrant workers (small employers and nonprofits) $460 $695 51% 
I-129 Petition for O Nonimmigrant workers $460 $1,055 129% 
I-129 Petition for O Nonimmigrant workers (small employers and nonprofits) $460 $530 15% 
I-129CW CNMI-Only Nonimmigrant Transitional Worker and I-129 Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker: E, H-3, P, Q, R, or TN Classifications $460 $1,015 121% 
I-129CW Petition for a CNMI-Only Nonimmigrant Transitional Worker and I-129 Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker: E, H-3, P, Q, R, or TN Classifications (small employers and nonprofits) $460 $510 11% 
I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status (paper filing)* $370 $470 27% 
I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Workers $700 $715 2% 
I-765 Application for Employment Authorization (paper filing)* $410 $520** 27% 
I-131 Application for Travel Document $575 $630 10% 
I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status (with biometric services) $1,225 $1,440 18% 
I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status (under the age of 14 in certain conditions) $750 $950 27% 
I-526/526E Immigrant Petition by Standalone/Regional Center $3,675 $11,160 204% 
I-829 Petition by Investor to Remove Conditions (with biometric services) $3,835 $9,525 148% 
N-400 Application for Naturalization (paper filing)* $640 $760 19% 

*This form also has an online filing option, whereby the filing fee is reduced. It is exclusive of separate biometrics fees, as applicable  

**Adjustment of status applicants will pay half the standard I-765 fee if they paid the full fee for a concurrently filed or pending adjustment application.  

Moreover, revised forms will also go into effect on April 1, 2024, along with the new fees. USCIS will accept prior editions of most forms during a grace period from April 1, 2024 – June 3, 2024. However, it specifically notes there will be no grace period for the following new forms because they must be revised with a new fee calculation. Unfortunately, as of the date of this publication, the new versions have not been released yet: 

  • Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker; 
  • Form I-129CW, 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 Form I-600A/I-600 Supplements 1, 2, and 3); and 
  • Form I-600, Petition to Classify Orphan as an Immediate Relative 

Takeaway: Individuals and their employers should take into consideration the impact of the increased filing fees, along with the longer premium processing timelines. Moreover, updated editions of USCIS application and petition forms are expected to become mandatory on April 1, 2024. Petitioners and applicants who wish to continue to benefit from the current fee schedule will need to submit applications before April 1, 2024.  If you would like to review whether any of your employees are eligible to have an extension or renewal filing submitted before April 1st, please contact your GIP case manager or reach out to our office at inquiries@gip-us.com.