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US visa fees hiked for non-immigrant categories

The cost of filing applications for H-1B registration has risen significantly since April.

Written by Thelearnvine

The US government has approved a significant increase in immigration application fees, which will affect various visa categories. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has confirmed that new visa costs for immigration files will go into effect on April 1.

Since April, the cost of submitting applications for Form I-129 and H-1B registration has risen dramatically. The new visa fee schedule will affect the cost of a variety of non-immigrant visa categories, including the most popular among Indians, H-1B, L-1, and EB-5.
 

The current $10 H-1B registration fee will increase by 2,050% to $215. After the H-1B registration cost, there is an additional price for submitting the Form I-129 H-1B petition. Form I-129 H-1B petition filing fees are now $460, but will increase by 70% to $780.

The new Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, must be filed with a revised fee calculation because there will be no grace period.

The EB-5 Visa Program important changes. The Fifth Preference Employment-Based Immigrant Visa is referred to as EB-5.

The EB-5 Visa cost will be $11,160, up 204 percent from the previous $3,675 price, for Forms I-526, Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur, and Form I-526E, Immigrant Application by Regional Center Investor.

The fee for Form I-829, Petition by Investor to Remove Conditions on Permanent Resident Status, is $9,525, up $5,775 or 154% from the previous $3,750.

Form I-956, Application for Regional Center Designation, costs $47,695, which is $29,900 or 168 percent more than the $17,795 price for Form I-924, Application for Regional Center Designation, under the Immigrant Investors Program.

The cost structure, as well as the entire list of amended forms, will go into effect on April 1, 2024. Prior editions of most forms will be accepted by USCIS during a grace period from April 1 to June 3, 2024. In this grace period, USCIS will accept both old and new versions of some forms, as long as they are submitted with the proper cost.

However, there will be no grace period for the following new forms, which must be updated with a new charge computation.

Form I-129: Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker.

Form I-129CW: Appeal for CNMI-Only Nonimmigrant Transitional Worker.

Form I-140: Immigrant Petition for Alien Workers.

Form I-600A: Application for Advance Processing of an Orphan Petition (including Form I-600A/I-600 Supplements 1, 2, and 3); and

Form I-600, Petition to Classify Orphan as Immediate Relative (together with Forms I-600A/I-600 Supplements 1–3).

If a benefit request has already been made, either online or in paper form, the fee regulation has no effect

on the current request, and no additional action is required.
 

On April 1, 2024, the web platform will default to new form versions. After April 1, 2024, outdated forms will no longer be accepted.

On April 1, 2024, USCIS will have to destroy all Form N-400 drafts that are currently in process, and the N-400 application will have to be restarted. This is important because Form N-400 is the only form now accessible for online filing that will not have a grace period when the new form version becomes effective on April 1.

USCIS has advised customers through their myUSCIS accounts that if they have any current drafts or freshly created Form N-400 applications, they must start a new application on April 1.

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