Understanding the New DHS Guidelines: Key Changes in Visa Petition Filing Fees

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has recently announced significant changes that will affect various visa petitions, including the H-1B Cap registration process and non-Cap filings. These updates are crucial for businesses and individuals involved in the immigration process.

1. Introduction of New USCIS Filing Fees

Effective April 1, 2024, the USCIS will introduce a new fee structure for visa applications. This revised system will base fees on specific visa classifications rather than the type of form filed, significantly impacting businesses sponsoring employees in various I-129 categories.

2. Detailed Fee Changes

H-1 Classifications: The I-129 filing fee will increase from $460 to $780. However, for small employers and nonprofits, the fee remains at $460.

L Nonimmigrant Workers: The filing fee will rise from $460 to $1,385, with a reduced fee of $695 for small employers and nonprofits.

O Nonimmigrant Workers: The fee will escalate from $460 to $1,055, and for smaller entities, it will be $530.

E, H-3, P, Q, R, or TN Classifications: The new fee is $1,015, up from $460, with a reduced fee of $510 for smaller organizations.

I-130 Petitions: The fees will vary between $625 (electronic filing) and $675 (paper filing).

I-131 Travel Documents: The fee increases from $575 to $630.

I-140: The filing fee will now be $715, up from $700.

I-485: The filing fees will rise to $1,440, with biometric fees remaining unchanged.

I-539: The fees will be $420 (electronic) and $475 (paper).

I-751: The fee increases to $750.

I-765: The fees will be $420 (electronic) and $475 (paper).

Additionally, the H-1B registration fee will increase from $10 to $215, applicable after the FY25 registration period.

3. Definition of Small Employers

The new rule defines small employers as entities with 25 or fewer full-time employees. This distinction is critical for fee determination.

4. Upcoming Final Rule Implementations

DHS plans to finalize some parts of the proposal called “Modernizing H-1B Requirements, Providing Flexibility in the F-1 Program, and Program Improvements Affecting Other Nonimmigrant Workers”. These are:

  • Implementing a beneficiary-centric selection process for the H-1B lottery.
  • Mandating the inclusion of valid passport or travel document information in registrations.
  • Allowing start date flexibility for certain H-1B Cap-subject petitions.
  • Codifying the authority to deny or revoke petitions with inaccurate or fraudulent information.


These changes represent a significant shift in the USCIS fee structure and the visa petition process. It’s crucial for businesses, employees, and immigration practitioners to understand these updates to ensure compliance and effective planning for future visa petitions. Stay informed and prepared as these changes roll out in April 2024.

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 info@visaserve.com or by calling us at 201-670-0006 extension 104. We also invite you to visit our website at www.visaserve.com for more information.