USCIS Fee Increases Effective April 1, 2024

USCIS Fee Increases

Immigration law is very complex and expensive. The fees have not changed since 2016, but as of January 31, 2024, the USCIS issued a final rule to increase specific rates and add new fees for services. They say the increase is so they can support timely processing and operating costs for new applications.

The agency conducted a fee review to make these revisions and fee increases. Their findings were they are not making sufficient revenue to cover staffing requirements, federal pay raises, and the expansions of humanitarian programs. Odunlami Law is aware of the changes and is here to help our clients. We are immigrants helping fellow immigrants get legal status.

Public Opinion on Fee Increases

In response to the rulemaking, there were over 5,400 comments. USCIS states they took these comments into consideration before making the final rule. The agency has found a way to increase fees and offer discounts in some situations. This is meant to quell some of the public opinion surrounding the increase. Some people are angry as there is already a backlog and immigration proceedings are arduous. For most people, the increase will be no more than 25%. There are also limits on the fee increases, meaning some individuals may not see a distinctive increase. Discuss your circumstances and how the new fees impact your case with a New Jersey family immigration lawyer.

Changes in USCIS Fee Increases Effective April 1, 2024

The new fee increases will help facilitate services and the needs of USCIS. We understand that a fee increase can be scary, but you should know that not every application will change. Additionally, you will have some time to gather the additional funds. Before addressing specific fee changes, here are some of the standout imposed modifications include:

  • Annual cost recovery of $727 million will be reduced.
  • Fee exemptions are expanded for qualified situations, such as
    • Special Immigrant Juveniles
    • Victims of human trafficking, crime, and domestic violence
    • Afghan allies
    • U.S. military service members
    • Families pursuing international adoption
  • A standard discount for online applications is $50
  • Fee discounts for small business employees and nonprofit organizations
  • Expansion on fee reduction Employment Authorization Document applications or status adjustments for those under 14 in qualifying conditions
  • A 50% fee reduction for individuals who can prove they fall within 150% and 400% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines.

With these extra funds, USCIS says they will establish innovative solutions to address backlogs and overall customer experience. There is backlash as some believe these fees will do little to help with the border issues and the increase in new cases. Regardless of the public debate, the fees will change on April 1, 2024. Some of the fee changes include:

  • H-1B registration: $10 to $215
  • Advanced parole: $630 from $0 (there were no fees when filed with I-485)
  • I-129 H-1B: $460 to $780
  • I-129 L-1: $460 to $1,385
  • I-129 O-1: $460 to $1,055
  • I-485 Adjustment of Status $1,225 to $1,440
  • I-140 Immigration petition $700 to $715
  • I-129 E and TN: $460 to $1,015
  • I-539 dependent extension or change of status: $370 to $470
  • I-131 Advance Parole new fee of $630 (when filed with I-485)
  • I-765 Employment Authorization new fee of $520

As you can see, some fee increases are a few dollars, while others are a substantial amount. There are also new fees for applications that previously did not have any. Forms with new fees will likely confuse applicants who previously believed they did not have to pay. They might be unable to afford these fees, which can be detrimental to their immigration case. Odunlami Law can help you navigate these adjustments.

Other Changes to Consider

There are other changes included in the final rule. These changes will also go into effect on April 1, 2024. The first and most significant change is processing times. This is not a benefit for applicants but for adjudicators. Currently, they have a response time that counts calendar days. With the new change, the processing time is business days. USCIS will have more time to review petitions. This can translate to more extended waiting periods for immigrants.

Additionally, many of the forms will be updated and changed. During this rollout, old versions can be accepted during a grace period. Getting legal advice is best to navigate these complex changes. Odunlami Law is here to help assess which changes apply to your circumstances. We are based in New Jersey but represent clients nationwide.

What Happens When the Rule Goes Into Effect

While the new fees go into effect on April 1, 2024, applications have a grace period. Those with previous editions of the forms may submit them and pay the new fee. The grace period is from April 1, 2024, to June 3, 2024. Certain forms will not have a grace period, including:

  • Form I-29 Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker
  • Form I-600 Petition to classify orphan as an immediate relative
  • Form I-129 CW petition for CNMI-only nonimmigrant transitional worker
  • Form I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Workers
  • Form I-600A Application for Advance processing of an Orphan petition

These forms have no grace period because they require revisions and fee calculation. The USCIS will consider the postmark date of the filing for fees but the receipt date for regulatory purposes. These transitions can be challenging for new and renewing applicants. It is advisable to visit the USCIS website to ensure you’re using the proper form. It is ideal to speak to a New Jersey family immigration attorney. We will review your application and the relevant forms.

Watch: Immigration Lawyer Ifeoma Ondumlami Discusses 2024 USCIS Fee Increases

Speak to a Family Immigration Attorney Today

The fee increases have pros and cons, and it can be challenging to assess which fee you should pay now and during the grace period. Hearing the word increase can be scary, but some are not as scary as you think. We hope these fees facilitate a smoother and faster process for all applicants. Odunlami Law is familiar with the immigration system in our professional and personal lives. We have been there and are here to help. Schedule an initial consultation with a New Jersey family immigration lawyer by calling 973-993-1900 today.


Areas of Immigration Law:

  • Naturalization (Citizenship) Application
  • Immigrant Relative Petitions
  • Fiancé Visa Applications
  • Adjustment of Status and Consular Processing
  • Criminal Consequences and Deportation Defense
  • Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) Application
  • Special Immigrant Juvenile Status
  • Green Card Renewals
  • Temporary Work Visas
  • Temporary Protected Status
  • Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals
  • Waivers
  • Deportation

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