Monday, April 22, 2024

2024 Green Card Application Fees in the United States Set to Surge With Implementation of New Proposal

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The Department of Homeland Security (D.H.S.) has reached a critical point in the federal review process for a new regulation that might result in increased visa application fees, including numerous visa categories, notably the frequently utilized H-1B visa.

Suppose the rule follows the planned revisions from January 2023. In that case, it might lead to a significant cost surge for U.S. firms sponsoring immigrant staff.

For sponsors filing H-1B visa petitions, including E-registering and submitting detailed applications for selected beneficiaries, the suggested fees experienced a considerable hike.

E-registration expenses for the annual H-1B cap lottery, generally held in March, were expected to soar from $10 to $215, ostensibly geared at preventing lottery exploitation. Additionally, expenses for selected beneficiaries’ applications were projected to soar by 70% to $780.

With the completion of O.I.R.A.’s study, the publication of the final regulation is approaching, and the higher fees could be in force as soon as spring 2024. Applications postmarked before the rule goes into effect will not be affected by the price hikes. To understand this new application fees hike for Green cards in US, continue reading!

Background of the new Proposal on Application Fees for Green Cards

Initially, in January 2023, the U.S.C.I.S. proposed to raise application costs for practically every visa category to the United States. The proposal envisioned significant increases for both employment-based and family-based immigrant applications. For example, expenses for many marriage-based green card applications, including the obligatory I-130 petition for a family member, were slated to double from $1760 to over $3640.

Additionally, expenses for accompanying children were to be similar to adult applications, dramatically raising the costs for immigrant families.

Read also: Undoing trumps immigration policies

The agency followed a mandated process under the Administrative Procedures Act, which comprised a 60-day public comment period. The final rule, which may have changed depending on general feedback, was to be released following this period.

During the public comment period, however, the government accumulated more than 6,000 public comments, denouncing the proposed cost increases and their impact on U.S. businesses, the workforce, and families.

The fee hikes will go into effect once the final rule is published. It’s still being determined if the agency will move forward with the charge increases it proposed in January or if the final rule will be a modified version based on feedback from the public.

Implications of the New Application Fees for Green Cards hike

  • The fiancé visa petition will increase by 35%, from $535 to $720, the petition for a relative will increase by 53% from $535 to $820, and the removal of conditions application will increase by 76%, from $680 to $1,195.
  • The P.R.M. recommended fee hikes for citizenship (naturalization), raising the cost from $640 to $760, signifying a 19% increase. Among the most dramatic suggested hikes were for EB-5 investors engaging in the investment-linked green card program.
  • As per the N.P.R.M., initial I-526 petition fees for investors were expected to climb by 204% to $11,160, and I-829 petition fees for removing conditions on permanent residence status would increase by 148% to $9,535.

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