USCIS Proposes A Hike In Fees To Reduce The Backlog

Posted on Jan 16, 2023 by Chris Prescott

On January 4, 2023, USCIS posted a notice of proposed rulemaking to adjust filing fees. Certain fees, particularly cases filed using form I-129 (H-1B, L-1A, L-1B, etc.) could potentially see significant hikes as well as EB-5.

Here of a brief overview of some of the notable proposed fee increases:

Immigration benefit Current fee Proposed fee Difference
N400 (Naturalization) $640 $760 $120 (19%)
N400 with biometrics $725 $760 $35   (5%)
I-129F (Fiancé visa) $535 $720 $185 (35%)
I-130 Petition for relative online $535 $710 $175 (33%)
I-130 Petition for relative paper $535 $820 $285 (53%)
I-751 Petition to remove conditions $595 $1,195 $600 (101%)
I-751 with biometrics $680 $1,195 $515 (76%)
I-129 (H-1B) $460 $780 $320 (70%
I-129 (H-2B) $460 $1,080 $620 (135%)
I-129 (L-1) $460 $1,385 $925 (201%)
I-129 (O-1) $460 $1,055 $595 (129%)
H-1B registration fee $10 $215 $205 (2050%)
I-140 $700 $715 $15 (2%)
I-526 (EB-5) $3,675 $11,160 $7,485 (204%)
I-829 (EB-5 removal of conditions) $3,750 $9,525 $5,775 (154%)
I-829 with biometrics $3,835 $9,525 $5,690 (148%)
I-765 application for EAD online $410 $555 $145 (35%)
I-765 with biometrics online $495 $555 $60 (12%)
I-765 application for EAD paper $410 $650 $240 (59%)
I-765 with biometrics paper $495 $650 $155 (31%)

Although there will be no changes to premium processing fees, USCIS is proposing that instead of a 15-calendar day turnaround, they will have 15 business days to either make a decision or issue an RFE/NOID. For a full list of the proposed fee increases see the following link:

By offering reduced fees to encourage online filings USCIS is demonstrating its commitment to switching to an online filing system.

USCIS is accepting public comments through March 6, 2023, and will respond to these comments before publishing a final rule.  However, bear in mind that USCIS has not increased fees since 2016, we can surely expect to see increases in some shape or form.

The biggest fee increase by far in terms of percentage is the H-1B registration fee. USCIS proposes increasing this by a whopping 2050% from $10 to $215. However, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

Prior to the electronic registration, Employers had to submit full petitions to USCIS.  This was far more expensive than the current electronic registration and resulted in far fewer filings.  Fewer filings meant a higher chance of selection.  Since electronic registration was introduced, we have seen an increase in the number of filings, thereby reducing the chance of selection.  Our hope is that by increasing the fee, less filings will be submitted, giving those serious about filing a much better chance of being selected.

If you have questions regarding the above, please contact PLG Partner Chris Prescott at