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Beverly Hills, California, United States
Eli Kantor is a labor, employment and immigration law attorney. He has been practicing labor, employment and immigration law for more than 36 years. He has been featured in articles about labor, employment and immigration law in the L.A. Times, Business Week.com and Daily Variety. He is a regular columnist for the Daily Journal. Telephone (310)274-8216; eli@elikantorlaw.com. For more information, visit beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com and and beverlyhillsemploymentlaw.com


Thursday, February 01, 2024

USCIS announces increases on several immigration and work applications

Citizenship and Immigration Services — or USCIS — is raising the cost of some visa application. Unlike other federal agencies, USCIS is funded almost entirely by the fees it charges for various immigration processes. The framework finalized this week is the result of a year-long effort from the agency to overhaul its fee system for the first time since 2016. It goes into effect in April and includes increases for many work permit applications. Employers applying for H-1B visas, for jobs like those in tech, will pay $780 — up from the current fee of $460. Applications for agricultural work permits — also currently set at $460 — will now cost $1,090. The new rule also changes aspects of the lottery system for certain employment-based visas. Small businesses and nonprofits applying for work permits for their immigrant employees will also see increases, though less than those of larger companies. Fees for certain humanitarian visas — like those for victims of trafficking and domestic violence — will be exempt. The agency says the increases are necessary to address financial issues and ever-growing processing backlogs — fueled in part by visa restrictions under the Trump administration and pandemic-era shutdowns.

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