US proposes increasing visa application fee; here’s how costly it will get

Who proposed the immigration fee hike?

The Biden administration along with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has proposed a significant hike in immigration fees

H-1B visas are very popular among Indian workers

H-1B visa allows US companies to employ foreign workers in speciality occupations that require certain technical expertise. US tech companies bank heavily on this visa in order to hire techies from India and Chin

Immigration price hike under review

The proposed rule has gone under a 60-day public opposition period, following which it is expected to be enforced

Changes proposed by the
Biden administration

- Application fee for H-1B visa to increase from $460 to $780
- Application fee for L-1 visa to increase from $460 to $1,385

Changes proposed by the
Biden administration

- Application fee for O-1 visa to increase from $460 to $1,055
- Application fee for H-2B petitions to increase from $460 to $1,080

Other important changes
in immigration

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to eliminate biometric services fees in most cases and the number of days to process an application has been increased from 15 days to 15 business days.

Low-income filers might be exempt from the price hike

USCIS said it would preserve existing fee waiver eligibility for low-income and vulnerable populations. Fee exemptions for certain humanitarian programmes could be considered by USCIS

Why price hike is needed according to USCIS?

USCIS receives almost all of its funding from filing fees. USCIS said that the new fees would allow it to fully recover its operating costs, reestablish and maintain timely case processing, and prevent the accumulation of future case backlogs

The fee rule explained

The USCIS generally publishes a fee rule biennially, and proposes these changes to account for the expansion of humanitarian programmes, federally mandated pay raises, additional staffing requirements, and other essential investments

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