H1B Visa

US to hike premium processing fees for H-1B and other visa categories; effective Feb 26

The USCIS has announced a final regulation that raises premium processing fees for specific visa categories, such as H-1B applications.

Immigration lawyers recommend that sponsoring employers should include the new premium processing fees in their immigration budget planning for the upcoming year. The typical procedure includes E-registrations for H-1B applications commencing in March, followed by the lottery, and concluding with the final visa application for the chosen beneficiaries.

The DHS will utilize the increased revenue from the premium processing fee to enhance premium processing services, streamline adjudication processes, address adjudication needs, decrease processing backlogs, and support USCIS adjudication and naturalization services, as stated by USCIS.

The premium processing fees for Form I-129, which is utilized for non-immigrant worker applications such as H-1B or L1 visas, would increase by 12% to $2,805. The fee modification will take effect on February 26, 2024.

The premium processing fees for Form I-539, which is utilized by foreign students, as well as spouses and dependents of H-1B visa holders who are looking to renew or amend their non-immigrant status, have increased to $1,965 from the previous amount of $1,750. The fee for Form I-765, which is used to apply for job authorization, has raised to $1,685 from $1,500. This applies to F-1 students applying for optional practical training (OPT).

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