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A Guide to the USCIS Immigration Fee Increases In April 2024

Concerned about the USCIS visa fee increases in April 2024? Ease your mind with our guide to all the changes and what they mean for US-based employers.

Jemima Owen-Jones
Written by Jemima Owen-Jones
March 21, 2024
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Key takeaways

  1. As of April 1st, the US government is implementing higher fees for most visa requests to reflect inflation and improve their services.
  2. The new fee schedule affects many employment-based visa categories, including the I-129 (petition for a nonimmigrant worker) and the Form I-140 (immigrant petition for an alien worker).
  3. You can navigate the changes successfully by staying updated with all the fee increases and incorporating them into your global hiring budget. Immigration services like Deel can help you manage the transition to ensure you don’t miss out on any talent.

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) are adjusting their fees as of April 1st, 2024. Applicants can expect to pay more for a range of immigration and naturalization benefit requests.

If you frequently hire and relocate foreign talent, you may be concerned about the impact on your business. The changes to the US visa process could make applications more complex and confusing, especially when information is scattered across the web.

Our guide explores all the USCIS fee increases in April and what they mean for global companies. Continue reading to discover which visa categories the ruling will affect and how to effectively navigate the changes.

An overview of the USCIS final rule

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has posted a final fee rule on the federal register stating its intention to change the costs for many immigration requests. This ruling marks the biggest and most widespread change since 2016.

The effective date is the 1st of April, which means all forms postmarked on or after this date are subject to the new prices. USCIS reserves the right to refuse or revoke approval for any filings made without the correct fees.

DHS previously announced a proposed rule which people could respond to with their questions and concerns. They’ve now addressed public comments and formally ended the rulemaking process which means the current decisions are final. However, they’re still considering feedback about how else to improve their services.

A breakdown of the new fee schedule

There’s a long list of immigration benefits with fee increases. Let’s look at the most popular and relevant USCIS forms and services for international employers:

Form I-129 - Petition for a nonimmigrant worker

Employers use the I-129 to get a work visa for foreign specialists on a nonimmigrant basis. The current fee is $460 for all filers. 

In April, the fees won’t just change but vary across all the different visa categories:

Visa category New fee
H-1  $780
H-2A with named beneficiaries $1090
H-2A with unnamed beneficiaries $530
H-2B with named beneficiaries $1080
H-2B with unnamed beneficiaries $580
L Non-immigrant workers $1385
O Non-immigrant workers $1055

If you’re a small business or non-profit organization, you may be eligible for reduced filing fees for the I-129.


Form I-131 - Application for travel document

US immigration services can take a long time. Your workers may need to travel overseas before they’ve finalized their work visa, and Form I-131 allows them to do so.

The current fees are $660 with biometric services and $575 without. Both services will cost $630 from April 1st, marking a decrease in price for some.

Form I-140 - Immigrant petition for an alien worker

Employers can file the I-140 to request permanent residency for workers based on what skills and qualifications they can bring to the US.

The current fee is $700 for sponsors. There is only a minor increase of $15, which brings the total cost to $715.

Form I-485 - Petition for permanent residence or adjustment of status

Form I-485 allows foreign nationals to transition from nonimmigrant to permanent residency status in the US. Although they’re responsible for filing and paying fees, the employer can offer to cover the costs.

Currently, the fees to adjust status are set at $1225 with biometric services and $1140. The cost will be $1440 for both types of applications from April.

Form I-539 - Application to extend/change nonimmigrant status

As workers approach their visa expiry date, they must apply to extend their stay or change their status. Otherwise, they have to leave the US. If they’re not applying for permanent residency, they can use Form I-539 to maintain their nonimmigrant classification.

The fee changes for the I-539 depend on the services used:

Services used Old fee New fee
Online filing $370 $420
Online filing with biometric services $455 $420
Paper filing  $370 $470
Paper filing with biometric services $455 $470

Form I-765 - Application for employment authorization

If you hire foreign talent from within the US, candidates may not have the right to work. Filing Form I-765 authorizes them to accept your employment offer.

The fee changes are based on the services the applicant uses during the visa process:

Services used Old fee New fee
Biometric services $680 $750
Online filing $410 $470
Online filing with biometric services $495 $470
Paper filing $410 $520
   Paper filing with biometric services    $495    $520

Applicants may file the I-485 to adjust their status concurrently with the I-765. They only owe half of the fees stated above, provided they’ve already paid to file the I-485.

Form I-907 - Request for premium processing services

Applicants have the option to pay extra for some forms to expedite the visa process. Premium processing usually guarantees a response within 15 business days of officials receiving your application.

The DHS has increased the USCIS premium processing fees in line with inflation by the following amounts:

Form and visa categories Previous fee New fee
Form I-129 
(for H-2B or R-1 nonimmigrant status)
$1500 $1685
Form I-129
(for all other classifications)
$2500 $2805
Form I-140
(for the employment-based classifications E11, E12, E21 (non-NIW), E31, E32, EW3, E13 and E21 (NIW))
$2500 $2805
Form I-539
(for F-1, F-2, M-1, M-2, J-1, J-2, E-1, E-2, E-3, L-2, H-4, O-3, P-4, and R-2)
$1750 $1965
   Form I-765
   (for F-1 students with categories C03A, C03B, C03C)
   $1500    $1685

H-1B registration process fee

One of the most significant increases is the H-1B visa registration fee which is going from just $10 up to $215. However, the increase comes after the initial registration period, which closes on March 22nd, 2024.

The H-1B allows employers to enter skilled workers in a lottery to win a non-immigrant visa. As the visa is dual purpose, applicants can then apply for permanent residency.

The fee increase is likely due to the high volume of applicants and fraud cases. DHS recently announced another final rule that requires sponsors to use beneficiary details instead of their own. The DHS hopes to deter employers from making multiple claims to increase their odds of securing a visa for workers.

Why DHS is adjusting the fees

Most of the budget for US immigration comes from applications rather than congress or taxes. A recent review discovered that the current USCIS fees are no longer covering operational costs. Factors like growing demand, inflation, and the pandemic mean the amount required for visa processing and adjudications has increased.

The DHS has introduced the new fee schedule to recoup losses and improve the standard of immigration services. They’ll reinvest the funds into operations, thereby reducing processing times and backlogs. Some money will go toward supporting vulnerable applicants such as refugees and asylum seekers as standard.

While there may be higher costs, US employers are likely to notice a benefit. Visa processing should take a shorter time frame on average and run more smoothly. As there are likely to be fewer applicants competing for visas, you may find your relocation plans have a higher chance of success.

How to navigate the new fee schedule

If you’re able to apply before April 1st, you can still benefit from the current fee schedule. The application just has to be postmarked before this date to be eligible for the lower prices.

After this point, consider which options are the most cost-effective. USCIS has recognized that online filing uses fewer resources than paper so they’ve adjusted the prices accordingly. Now, you can often pay less if you submit a digital form.

Research and estimate the total costs to ensure you stick to your hiring budget. There’s a USCIS fee calculator which tells you the current fees for filing forms. 

Outsourcing to legal experts helps you stay on top of costs and guarantee the success of applications. Deel recently partnered with Legalpad to overcome our customer’s immigration challenges. Our team has extensive experience with different US visas, so we can find you the most cost-efficient route into the country for employers while maintaining compliance. 

Take all the uncertainty out of the visa process

Staying on top of all the latest changes and fee increases is easy with Deel. Our legal experts help you manage every aspect of the application so there are no surprise costs or unexpected issues.

Deel Immigration allows global teams to:

  • Get notified about changing regulations and service fees
  • Check visa eligibility before hiring and relocating workers
  • Create contracts that comply with complex US labor laws
  • Monitor the progress of applications and renewals
  • Receive notifications about approaching expiry dates
  • Support workers in obtaining the US Green Card
  • Sponsor visas for workers using an Employer of Record (EOR)

Looking to hire or relocate workers to the US? Watch our US visa webinar to discover the steps to getting a work visa, or book a consult to see how Deel can help you.

Disclaimer: Be aware that this article is not a substitute for legal advice. Please always check official websites or seek legal advice before you take action.

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