February 2024 – Counsel Corner

02.26.24 Update – Notice of USCIS Fee Increase

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) fees have increased for the I-140, I-485, Advanced Parole (Travel Authorization), and EAD (Work Authorization) filings and will take effect April 1, 2024.

The attached price sheet indicates the change in prices to accommodate those government fee increases for the PERM and Green Card process.

However, please be aware that ULS has NOT increased its own fees.  The increase in fees is purely to reflect the increase in USCIS filing fees.  The fee increases affect the second and third phase of the Green Card process––for workers Adjusting Status in the U.S., the fee increases total $1,380 and will be added on to the third phase payment

ULS has, and will continue to have, our clients and their workers come first and to keep the fees charged as low as possible.  To that point, I have chosen to have ULS cover the government fee increase for workers in Consular Processing that will be applying for their final phase 3 filing in their home country.  ULS’s price for processing workers in their home country (Consular Processing) will remain the same. 

Determining whether workers need to have their third phase filing in the U.S. (Adjustment of Status) or in their home country (Consular Processing) will need to be decided closer to that time based on H-2B status, whether they are in the U.S., visa bulletin status, and other factors.  We estimate it is 50/50 whether any worker will be able to Adjust Status or need to Consular Process.

Company clients may choose to help their workers cover the cost of increase in government fees since these increases affect the second and third phases––the phases commonly paid for by the workers.  Most companies will choose to contribute to that increase however they determine to help support their workers.

While the increase in USCIS fees is frustrating, the additional fees will go to creating efficiencies in USCIS that will hopefully speed up the Green Card process.  Unlike most federal agencies, USCIS is almost entirely fee-funded.  These fee increases will likely help reduce the processing times that we are seeing currently at the agency.

As a reminder, please continue to collect your employees’ portion of payments towards stages two and three.

Elliott Mason President and General Counsel, ULSElliott S. Mason
President and General Counsel