By Partner Cindy Azoulay |
New USCIS filing fees will go into effect on October 2, 2020, with business immigration processes receiving the largest percentage of the fee increases: 51% for E-1/E-2 visas filed with USCIS, 75% for L petitions, and 53% for O petitions. Further, Adjustment of Status fees, which had previously been bundled, will now be separate, with an overall cost increase of 50%.
Petition and Application Form Changes
In addition to the increase in the filing fees, USCIS has revised petition and application forms. The processes affected include:
H-1B (Form I-129H1)
L-1 (Form I-129L)
O-1 (Form I-129O)
E-1/E-2 (Form I-129E)
H-3, P, Q, or R (Form I-129MISC)
Application for Employment Authorization (Form I-765).
These new forms must be used when the new filing fees take effect on October 2, 2020.
Premium Processing Will Take Longer
The timeframe USCIS examiners have to adjudicate a petition will increase from 15 calendar days to 15 business days.
Also expect annual fee increases, as USICS reserves the right to increase the premium processing fee at its discretion without having to follow the rule making process.
Employers and visa applicants should, where possible, file between now and October 2, 2020 to avoid paying the higher filing fees. Employers need to know that premium processing is less than “premium” and the increased processing times need to be taken into account.