After a failed attempt in October 2020 to increase filing fees, USCIS redoubled its efforts to improve processing times and clear backlogs and thereby demonstrate its commitment to improved service in exchange for higher filing fees. The October 2020 fee regulation, which doubled or tripled some filing fees, offered nothing in exchange. A lawsuit resulted in a judge essentially saying, “If you want to raise filing fees, you’ll need to show us what you’ll do to offer better service.”

USCIS published its new fee regulation on January 31, 2024. The new fees will go into effect on April 1, 2024. Some common and noteworthy case types with the current and new fees are the following:

New “Asylum Program Fee” for Employers

Employers submitting I-129 and I-140 petitions to sponsor employees for work visas and green cards now will need to pay a $600 surcharge to pay for asylum case processing. The fee is $300 for employers with 25 or fewer full-time employees. Non-profit employers do not need to pay the fee. USCIS’ justification for making employers pay this fee is that it is “an effective way to shift some costs to requests that are generally submitted by petitioners [i.e. employers] who have more ability to pay.”

I-129 Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker (mostly for H and L visa categories):
H-1B: $460 now; $780 new fee ($460 for employers with 25 or fewer full-time employees); and
L-1A and L-1B: $460 now; $1,385 new fee ($695 with 25/fewer employees).

I-130 Petition for Relative (to sponsor a family member for a green card): $535 now; $625 new fee for online filing or $675 for paper filing

I-140 Immigrant Petition for Immigrant Worker (to apply for a green card based upon employment): $700 now; $715 new fee

I-485 Application to Adjust Status (to apply for a green card): $1,225 now for the base filing fee and initial and renewal applications for advance parole (travel document) and work authorization; $1,440 new fee for the I-485 and additional fees of $630 for advance parole and $260 for work authorization (excluding renewals).

N-400 Application for Naturalization (to apply for U.S. citizenship): $725 now; $710 new fee

Some of these new filing fees come with sticker shock. Others reflect the increased cost of doing business. The proof in the pudding will be if USCIS can maintain the improved service it has shown over the last three years.