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The cost of immigrating to the US could get more expensive. All you need to know

2 min read

The Biden Government has proposed a significant increase in the costs of immigrating and naturalization benefits, with the most significant increases occurring for employment-based categories like H-1B visas.

The pre-registration fee for H-1B visas is proposed to increase by 2,050%, from $10 currently to $215; 70% for the H-1 category, which includes H-1B, from $460 to $780, 201% for L visa for intra-company transfers to the US, from $460 to $1,385, and 129% for O category for workers with extraordinary skills.

EB-5 visas for Investors and entrepreneurs, also known as the “millionaires’ visa”. Are expected to become more expensive, rising from $3,675 to $11,160.

The premium processing fee for all visas will remain the same at $2,500, but there may be some reductions in other costs.

The Department of Homeland Security, which is the parent organization of US Citizenship and Immigration Services and is tasked with processing requests for immigration and naturalization, made the proposed hikes published in the Federal Register on Tuesday.

The cost of immigrating to the US could get more expensive

The USCIS attributed the proposed increase to the need for funds for its operations. Which, according to the agency, are primarily funded by these fees (98 percent), not congressional appropriations.

“USCIS’s comprehensive fee review led to the proposed fee rule. The agency stated in support of the increase that the review determined the agency’s current fees. Which has remained unchanged since 2016, fall far short of recovering the full cost of agency operations.”

According to the agency, the Covid-19 pandemic resulted in a 40 percent decline in revenue for 2020, adding. “The combination of depleted cash reserves, a temporary hiring freeze, and workforce attrition has reduced the agency’s capacity to timely adjudicate cases. Particularly as incoming caseloads rebound to pre-pandemic levels. Increasing demand for low- or no-fee humanitarian programs has added to these fiscal challenges.”

USCIS’s annual yield is anticipated to rise from $3.28 billion in 2022 and 2023. At the current rates to $5.2 billion during the same time frame as a result of the proposed increases. In 2016, these rates were last updated.

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The USCIS justified the 2,050% increase in the pre-registration fee for H-1B petitions in a FAQ. While acknowledging that the increase may appear “dramatic”. It stated that the $10 fee was established in 2019 to cover a small portion of the program’s costs rather than the entire cost.

To make good the shortage of locally available hands in specialty occupations. Moreover, the United States issues approximately 85,000 visas to foreigners. As part of the H-1B program so, they work for American businesses. Indians receive around 75% of these visas.

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