Navigating the Upcoming USCIS Fee Changes: Strategies for Employers

In the face of rising operational costs and the relentless march of inflation, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced a significant update to its fee structure for various immigration-related filings. Effective April 1, 2024, these changes mark the first fee adjustment since 2016, underscoring a critical development for employers and foreign nationals alike. Given that USCIS is predominantly funded through these filing fees—accounting for 96% of its operational budget—the revised fees are aimed at enhancing the agency’s capacity to manage its processes efficiently, thereby mitigating the risk of backlogs that have historically prolonged case processing times.

A Closer Look at the Fee Increases

The impending adjustments are particularly noteworthy for employers who rely on nonimmigrant work visas, such as the H-1B, to recruit talent from abroad. Under the new fee schedule, the I-129 filing fee for a standard H-1B petition will see a substantial rise from $460 to $780. It is essential to note that the applicability of the increased fee is contingent upon the petition’s filing date, not the visa status start date requested by the petitioner.

Moreover, the USCIS has also revised the Premium Processing service fees, escalating from $2,500 to $2,805, effective February 26, 2024. This service, which promises expedited processing times, will now ensure adjudication within fifteen business days—a slight modification from the previous guarantee of fifteen calendar days.

Key Fee Changes at a Glance

Nonimmigrant Visa Petitions

  • H-1B: $780 (standard), $460 (for small employers & nonprofits)
  • L-1: $1,385 (standard), $695 (for small employers & nonprofits)
  • O-1, TN, and dependents: Various increases detailed above

Immigrant Visa Petitions (Green Card Process)

  • Multiple forms including I-140, I-485, I-765, and I-131: Specific fees outlined above

Premium Processing

  • Now $2,805 for both H-1B and L-1 petitions, among others

Proactive Measures for Employers

To mitigate the financial impact of these fee increases, employers are advised to promptly assess their workforce for any foreign nationals nearing the end of their status period within the next six months. By filing extension petitions before April 1, 2024, employers can circumvent the heightened fees, particularly for H-1B FY2025 lottery filings which commence on April 1.

This strategic foresight can not only result in significant cost savings but also ensure smoother continuity in employment for valued foreign national employees. Moreover, the USCIS’s move to adjust fees underscores a broader trend of inflationary pressures and operational cost increases, making it all the more critical for employers to stay informed and adapt their immigration strategies accordingly.


As the USCIS adjusts its fee structure to better align with its operational needs and the realities of inflation, employers and their foreign national employees must navigate these changes with strategic planning and timely action. By understanding the new fee schedule and leveraging the opportunity to file before the increases take effect, employers can better manage their immigration-related expenditures while ensuring compliance and operational efficiency.

For a detailed list of the new fees and to stay updated on further announcements, stakeholders are encouraged to consult the Federal Register or the USCIS official website.

 If you or your family members have any questions about how immigration and nationality laws in the United States may affect you, or if you want to access additional information about immigration and nationality laws in the United States or Canada, please do not hesitate to contact the immigration and nationality lawyers at NPZ Law Group. You can reach us by emailing or by calling us at 201-670-0006 extension 104. We also invite you to visit our website at for more information.