US raises H-1B visa and Green Card prices effective April

Asma Ahmed - | World

Starting April 1, applicants seeking H1-B visas in the United States, along with American employers, are confronted with increased visa and immigration fees following a US district court's rejection of a plea for a temporary restraining order to delay the fee hikes.

The lawsuit, brought forth by ITServe Alliance and AIIA, contests the substantial increases in fees for EB-5 visas and additional asylum fees for employers hiring H-1B workers, citing procedural irregularities in their implementation.

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced significant fee escalations for EB-5 investors pursuing US Green Cards through investment, with initial I-526 petitions now priced at $11,160, marking a staggering 204 percent increase. Similarly, I-829 application fees have surged to $9,535, representing a 154 percent hike. These visa fee adjustments are scheduled to come into effect on April 1.

The USCIS has clarified that applications submitted on or after April 1 must reflect the updated fee amounts to be considered valid. Notably, the application fee has surged by 70 percent to $780, with employers now burdened by an additional Asylum Program fee of $600 during the initial application phase and when sponsoring employment-based green cards.

Despite these developments, legal proceedings are ongoing, and plaintiffs, including AIIA, remain hopeful about the lawsuit's outcome. Their optimism stems from the court's non-opposition to their primary argument, suggesting a favorable chance of success. They had requested a postponement of the revised fee implementation until the lawsuit reaches resolution.

The recent fee hikes for US H1-B visas and related immigration processes have sparked controversy and legal challenges. While applicants and employers brace themselves for increased financial obligations, legal avenues are being pursued to contest the fee adjustments, emphasizing procedural concerns and seeking relief through judicial intervention.

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Asma Ahmed
Asma Ahmed
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