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Immigration Law Update

December 2019

Substantial Increases in Immigration Filing Fees Proposed

The Trump Administration has proposed across-the-board fee increases for most of the common immigration petitions processed by USCIS by a weighted average of 21 percent. These fee increases will profoundly affect the filing fees of a wide range of immigration processes, including all categories of foreign national workers, family-based permanent residence processes, naturalization, DACA renewals, and asylum. The latter two categories previously never required filing fees due to the humanitarian nature of these applications.

The highest proposed fee increases apply to the naturalization process (83%), the adjustment of status process (79%), and L visa petitions (77%).  USCIS will accept comments on this proposed rule until December 30. If you would like to submit a comment and want our assistance, please let us know.

Immigration Form Current Fee Proposed Fee Difference in Cost Percentage Change
Total fees for I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, and I-131, Application for Travel Document, and biometric services $1,225 $2,195 +$970 +79%
N-400, Application for Naturalization $640 $1,170 +$530 +83%
I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker $700 $545 -$155 -22%
I-129H1, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker: H-1 Classification (H-1B, H-1B1) $460 $560 +$100 +22%
I-129L, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker: L Classification (L-1A, L-1B, Blanket L) $460 $815 +$355 +77%
I-129E&TN, Application for Nonimmigrant Worker:
E or TN Classification
$460 $705 +$245 +53%
I-129O, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker:
O Classification
$460 $715 +$255 +55%
I-821D, Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (Renewal) $0 $275 +$275 N/A (USCIS has never charged a fee for Form I-821D.)

New H-1B Registration Process opens in March

USCIS announced earlier this month that a revamped H-1B process for those subject to the annual quota will be instituted this coming March. From March 1st to March 20th, 2020 employers seeking H-1B workers subject to the cap must register electronically with USCIS for a $10 fee. The registration will include only basic information about the company and the foreign national. The H-1B lottery will then be conducted using only this simplified information, rather than requiring fully completed H-1B petitions. Those selected in the lottery will then have 60 days to file H-1B cap petitions with USCIS.  For information on how to plan for H-1B filings at your company for the upcoming filing season, please feel free to contact Brad Ortman or Karen Moss.

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If you have questions or would like to learn more about the items discussed above, please contact Karen Moss or Brad Ortman of the Immigration Law Group at Nicola, Gudbranson & Cooper via email or at (216) 621-7227.

Bradley L. Ortman and Karen Gabriel Moss
Nicola, Gudbranson & Cooper LLC

This Immigration Law Update contains general information that should not be considered legal advice or legal opinion concerning individual situations. Legal counsel should be consulted for specific advice.

Copyright 2019 by Nicola, Gudbranson & Cooper LLC