2024 Increase in USCIS Immigration Fees

2024 Increase in USCIS Immigration Fees
2024 Increase in USCIS Immigration Fees

USCIS Immigration Fees

Based on the recent updates from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), filing fees for most immigration petitions and applications will see a significant increase effective April 1, 2024. This adjustment marks the first change in USCIS’s fee schedule since December 2016, aimed at covering operational costs more fully and avoiding future backlogs. The changes are detailed across various sources, highlighting key aspects of the updated fee structure and its implications for applicants. For your convenience, you may download the PDF that presents the fees, effective April 1, 2024, for all U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) forms HERE

Notable change is for the H-1B Visa fee

One notable change is for the H-1B visa petitions, where the filing fee will rise dramatically from $460 to $780 for certain classifications, a 70% increase. This adjustment comes as part of a broader strategy to ensure USCIS can more fully recover its operating costs, thereby supporting timely processing and improving customer experience. For family-based petitions, the fee for Form I-129F (Petition for Alien Fiancé) and Form I-130 (Petition for Alien Relative) will each increase by 26% to $675. Despite these increases, some fees, such as the Application for Naturalization (Form N-400), will see a relatively moderate increase from $725 to $760​

Asylum Program USCIS Immigration Fee

USCIS has introduced an Asylum Program Fee of $600 to be paid by employers filing Form I-129, Form I-129CW, or Form I-140, with concessions for small businesses and nonprofits. Additionally, the final rule incorporates biometric services costs into the main benefit fee for most cases and introduces a $50 discount for online filings when available. These measures, among others, are designed to help USCIS address current backlogs and improve service delivery. The agency emphasizes that the increased fees are crucial for maintaining a strong fiscal footing and ensuring the timely processing of immigration requests​.

For more detailed information on the USCIS fee increases and the full list of affected forms and services, refer to the USCIS official faq and the comprehensive analysis provided by Mintz

No immigration fees for the Diversity Visa Program

In the midst of rising USCIS Immigration Fees, there’s a silver lining for those dreaming of life in the United States: the Diversity Visa Program, also known as the Green Card Lottery, remains a beacon of hope. This program offers a path to U.S. residency at no cost for applicants choosing the self-application route. This program stands out as a unique opportunity for individuals from countries with low immigration rates to the U.S. to secure their place in the land of opportunity without the burden of filing immigration fees before their applications are selected.

Diversity Visa Program value-added service

That said, navigating the application process can be daunting, given the stringent eligibility requirements and the precise nature of the application procedure. To mitigate the risk of disqualification due to common errors and to maximize the chances of selection, the US GREEN CARD OFFICE provides a paid value-added service. This service offers comprehensive support throughout the application process, ensuring that all aspects of the application are correctly handled.

For those weighing the options between going it alone or seeking professional assistance, it’s crucial to understand the differences and benefits of each approach. The free application route, while cost-effective, places the responsibility squarely on the applicant’s shoulders to ensure accuracy and compliance with all application guidelines. On the other hand, the paid service from the US GREEN CARD OFFICE aims to streamline the process, providing expert guidance that can significantly enhance an applicant’s chances of success. If your application is selected for further processing, the US GREEN CARD OFFICE will handle all immigration fees to the government, saving you a significant amount of immigration fees.

Deciding whether to utilize the paid services depends on one’s comfort level with the application process and the value placed on expert support. For a detailed comparison and to make an informed decision, visit the US GREEN CARD OFFICE’s explanation of the free versus paid service. Here, applicants can find in-depth insights into the advantages of professional application assistance, empowering them to choose the path that best suits their aspirations and circumstances.

Benefits of being a Green Card holder?

Becoming a U.S. Green Card holder, or lawful permanent resident, opens up a new realm of opportunities and benefits that significantly enhance the quality of life for immigrants. The status allows individuals to live, work, and study in the United States on a permanent basis, along with providing a pathway to citizenship. Here are some key benefits associated with holding a Green Card:

  1. Permanent Residency: The foremost advantage is the legal right to live and work in the U.S. indefinitely. This stability allows for long-term career planning and the opportunity to establish a permanent home.
  1. Employment Opportunities: Green Card holders have access to a wider range of employment opportunities, including many that are not available to non-residents. They can work for any employer and are not tied to a specific job or sponsor, which is often the case with temporary work visas.
  2. Education Benefits: Access to education is another significant perk. Residents pay lower tuition fees at public universities and colleges than their international counterparts. Furthermore, they are eligible for various scholarships and financial aid opportunities not available to non-residents.
  3. Social Security Benefits: After working in the U.S. for at least 10 years before retiring, Green Card holders are eligible for Social Security benefits, which can provide financial stability in retirement.
  4. Healthcare: Although the U.S. healthcare system is complex and often expensive, permanent residents have better access to comprehensive healthcare services. They are eligible to apply for coverage through the Affordable Care Act’s Health Insurance Marketplace, which can make healthcare more affordable.
  5. Sponsorship of Relatives: Green Card holders can sponsor immediate family members, including spouses and unmarried children under the age of 21, for their own Green Cards. This family reunification aspect is one of the most heartfelt benefits, allowing families to live together in the U.S.
  6. Pathway to U.S. Citizenship: After meeting certain residency requirements, typically living in the U.S. for five years as a Green Card holder, individuals become eligible to apply for U.S. citizenship. This step offers the right to vote, a U.S. passport, and the security of permanent citizenship status.

Conclusion on immigration fees and the DV Program

For individuals around the world seeking a new life in the United States, obtaining a Green Card is a highly sought-after goal. The Diversity Visa Program provides a unique opportunity for those from countries with low rates of immigration to the U.S. to achieve this dream. With the benefits of being a Green Card holder in mind, it’s clear why the program, and assistance in navigating its complexities, can be so valuable.

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