HomeWhat's TrendingUS Hikes H-1B Visa Registration Fees By a Whopping 2050%, Netizens Call...

US Hikes H-1B Visa Registration Fees By a Whopping 2050%, Netizens Call it an Attack on Legal Immigration

In a startling move, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced a significant increase in visa application and registration fees, leaving the immigrant community, particularly those eyeing the coveted H-1B visas, in disbelief. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) disclosed the unprecedented hikes in a statement released on January 31, sparking widespread criticism.

New Fee Structure

Effective from April 1, the revised fee structure has raised eyebrows across the immigrant community. For H-1B visa registrations, the fees have surged by an astounding 2050%, catapulting from the current $10 to a staggering $215. Similarly, the L-1B visa fees have been revised from $460 to $1,385, while the fees for EB-5 visas have witnessed a dramatic increase from $3,675 to a hefty $11,160.

Reasons Behind the Hike

The DHS, in its detailed explanation accompanying the fee revisions, cited adjustments to USCIS volume forecasts for H–1B registration workload as a primary factor. The agency revised the forecast to 424,400, surpassing the initial estimate of 273,990 H–1B registrations proposed in the earlier rule. This increase is expected to generate additional revenue from H–1B registration fees, as stated by the DHS.

The statement further elucidates, ‘DHS has updated the USCIS volume forecasts for the EB–5 workload based on more recent and reliable information than what was available while drafting the proposed rule. Increasing the fee-paying receipt forecasts for these workloads conversely increased the estimated revenue generated by EB–5 fees. DHS also revised the USCIS budget to reflect these changes,’ as per the Federal Register website.

Backlash and Public Reaction

Netizens and immigration advocates have swiftly condemned the steep increase, branding it an attack on legal immigration. Critics argue that such exorbitant fees create barriers for skilled professionals and entrepreneurs, hindering the growth of industries that heavily rely on foreign talent. The unexpected move has sparked debates on the broader implications of this fee hike, with concerns raised about its potential impact on the diversity and vibrancy of the American workforce.

As the immigration landscape undergoes significant changes, stakeholders eagerly await further developments and potential legal challenges against what some are calling an unprecedented assault on the principles of fair and accessible immigration.

Monika Shanmugam