Early Visa Extension Filings Could Save Employers Money as USCIS Increases Filing Fee

Burr & Forman

Burr & Forman

Cost increases due to inflation have become a norm over the last two years, and immigration fees are no exception. USCIS announced that effective April 1, 2024, fees for certain immigration benefits will be adjusted for the first time since 2016. The agency is 96% funded through filing fees, and USCIS anticipates the increases will assist with operational costs to avoid the accumulation of future backlogs in case processing.

Of particular note is the increase in filing fees for nonimmigrant work visa petitions. I-129 filing fees for a typical H-1B petition will increase from $460.00 to $780.00. Importantly, whether the increased fee applies depends on the date the petition is filed—not the date requested as the visa status start date.

Employers can generally file extension petitions up to 180 days prior to a foreign national’s status expiration. Thus, employers should assess their foreign national workforce for any individuals that may have status expirations in the next six months and consider filing extension petitions before April 1 to avoid the increased fees. The fee increase will apply to all H-1B FY2025 lottery filings, which are typically accepted starting April 1.

In addition to filing fees, USCIS also announced an increase to the Premium Processing fee for many employment-based filings from $2,500.00 to $2,805.00. The Premium Processing increase goes into effect on February 26, 2024. Premium Processing has historically guaranteed employers a decision on most types of employment-based petitions within fifteen calendar days of filing. With the increased fee, USCIS also announced a move to guarantee adjudication within fifteen business days.

A partial list of the new fees are outlined below:



Nonimmigrant Visa Petitions

Form I-129 for H-1B


Form I-129 for H-1B (small employers & nonprofits)


Form I-129 for L-1


Form I-129 for L-1 (small employers & nonprofits)


Form I-129 for O-1


Form I-129 for O-1 (small employers & nonprofits)


Form I-129 for TN


Form I-129 for TN (small employers & nonprofits)


Form I-539 (dependents)


H-1B Registration Process Fee (FY2026)


Immigrant Visa Petitions (Green Card Process)

Form I-140


Form I-485 (with biometric services)


Form I-485 (under age 14)


Form I-765 (Employment Authorization in conjunction with green card application)


Form I-131 (Travel Authorization in conjunction with green card application)


Premium Processing Requests


Premium Processing for H-1B and L-1


Premium Processing for I-140


A full list of the new filing fees can be found in the Federal Register:  Federal Register: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Fee Schedule and Changes to Certain Other Immigration Benefit Request Requirements

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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