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Will an Immigration Fee Hike Happen in 2024?

Jan 9, 2024

USCIS fee waiver

On January 31, 2024, USCIS published its final rule confirming that filing fees for various immigration forms are going to increase on April 1, 2024. Costs will go up for nearly every visa category, including family-based and employment-based immigration. To calculate your 2024 USCIS fees and stay up to date on all fee hike news, check out Boundless’ guide.

It’s now been a year since U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued a proposal to increase immigration costs for nearly every visa category. With the new fees yet to be finalized, let’s revisit USCIS’ fee hike proposal and what to expect when it comes to immigration costs in the year ahead.

Who Would Be Impacted?

After six years of consistent government filing fees, the Biden Administration proposed an increase for immigration filing fees in the first week of January 2023. USCIS, which is funded primarily by filing fees, is required to review its immigration fee structure every two years, but new fees haven’t been introduced since 2016.

Overall, the proposal would keep costs for low-income immigrants and naturalization applicants low, but increase fees for nearly all family and employment-based applications.

Despite reducing barriers for low-income applicants and new citizens, adjustment of status (green card) application costs would skyrocket from the current $1,760 to $3,500. USCIS would also start charging for the optional work and travel permit forms, which allow applicants to work and travel while their green card applications are pending and have long been free to file.

Work visas will also be significantly impacted if implemented — the H-1B E-registration fee could increase from $10 to $215 (a 2050% jump). H-1B visa application fees are also set to rise by 70% once the proposal goes into effect, which could impact U.S. employers’ abilities to sponsor foreign workers in the future due to high costs.

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Facing Backlash

USCIS says the proposed fees will cover the agency’s operational costs and prevent future application backlogs, but immigration advocates and sponsoring employers have spoken out against the proposed increases over the last year. In USCIS’ 2023 public comment period, over 6,000 people and organizations expressed their worries about these changes. You can read Boundless’ public comment to USCIS here.

What Comes Next

Once finalized, the fee increases are likely to have a significant impact on the family and business immigration systems as a whole. Experts say the new fees could go into effect as soon as early 2024.

Stay tuned to our USCIS fees guide for all future updates!

Boundless helps you build a tailored visa plan for every step of the process, from forms to your immigration interview.