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  4.  » Students, citizens, and businesses affected by new USCIS fees

The White House released a new U.S, Citizenship and Immigration (USCIS) fee rule that will increase fees on international students, businesses, and new citizens in North Carolina and across the country who need authorization to work. The fee rule was proposed in November and the final version was released to the public by the Department of Homeland Security on July, 31, 2020. The new fees are set to go into effect on October 2, 2020.


The fee increases are significant, raging from 21% to 85%, depending on the visa category. For instance, The fee for an H1B petition is going to rise to $555 from $460, an increase of 21%. The executive director for immigration policy for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce said the significantly increased fees on employment-based immigration are just new taxes businesses must pay to meet their workforce needs. Companies are expected to fight the agency over what some say are critical flaws in the rule.


Companies that employ 50 or more people and have 50% or more of their workforce in L-1 and H-1B status face higher fees. In the final rule, USCIS states its reinterpretation of the law to impose an additional $4,500 fee for initial L-1 petitions and a $4,000 fee for initial H-1B petitions. Plus, it will impose the fee for extensions when the fraud detection and prevention fee is not collected. This means that this fee will be required each time the status of an employee is extended.


The immigration landscape is complex and shifting. It can be difficult to interpret the latest rules and laws. Employees, sometimes, get caught in the middle of complex immigration issues. An attorney with a background in immigration law can explain current rules and laws regarding employees with L-1 or H-1B status.