Labor Immigration Law

United States Labor Immigration Law News and Analysis

Archive for April, 2012

FY2013 H-1B Numbers Update – 29,200 Regular and 12,300 Masters Cap Visas Used (April 27, 2012)

The H-1B season is well underway and we have received the fourth “official” update on the FY2013  cap-subject H-1Bs filed since April 2 for both the Vermont and California Service Centers.   As of April 27, 2012, USCIS has received approximately 29,200 H-1B petitions counting toward the 65,000 cap.   This suggests a rate of filings of approximately 4,000 regular cap cases per week.   Similarly, as of April 27, there were approximately 12,300 H-1B visas filed subject to the U.S. Masters cap (which has 20,000 limit).   This suggests a rate of filings of approximately 1,200-1,500 master’s cap cases per week.

H-1B Cap Update

This report suggests a continued (but not as dramatic as the increase seen during last week’s report) demand and strong rate of H-1B filings compared to last year.  While it is still early in the H-1B cap season, the rate of filings seems to be approximately 4,000 per week under the regular cap and 1,200-1,500 per week for the master’s cap.

Comparison to the Last H-1B Season (FY2012)

Our office keeps detailed statistics of the previous H-1B filing seasons, and we are able to make comparisons with prior H-1B years in an effort to estimate demand and when the H-1B caps may be reached.  Considering the estimated rates of filings for the regular and master’s caps, all indications are that the cap would remain open for 3-4 months.

H-1B Cap Comparison

Last year, during the FY2012 H-1B filing season, by April 27nd, there were 9,200 regular cap H-1B petitions filed.   Last year’s April 27nd count of Master’s H-1B cap filing was 6,600.   This year’s 29,200 and 12,300 filings for the regular and master’s caps, respectively, for the first four weeks of the H-1B filing season suggests that there is dramatic increase in the number of H-1Bs filed early in the H-1B season.   Based on this information, and assuming there is no significant  increase in the rate of filings, we anticipate that this year’s H-1B season would extend for between 3-4 months.

H-1B Quota Trends

Throughout every H-1B cap filing season, we provide timely updates on the H-1B numbers and we draw predictions and conclusions based on the numbers and our experience.  So early in the process for this year, it is impossible to draw any trends; however, stay tuned for more numbers and updated trends over the next days and weeks.  You may want to subscribe to our free weekly immigration newsletter to receive timely updates on this and related topics.

In the meantime, if you are considering filing a cap-subject H-1B petition as part of the FY2013 quota, please contact us as soon as possible — it is never too early to file a cap-subject H-1B petition.

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Annual Visa Limit for EB-2 India and China Reached – No New GC Approvals until October 1, 2012

Our office has been able to confirm what we have suspected for a few weeks.  Many of our readers are aware that the significant forward movement in the cutoff dates for the EB-2 India and China categories over the past few months has caused a significant number of demand and I-485 filings.     USCIS has been able to approve a number of I-485 adjustment of status applications for nationals of India and China — as a result, as of April 11, 2012, the Department of State has reached the annual limit in the EB-2 India and China categories.

No Green Card Approvals Until October 1, 2012

As a result of reaching the annual limit in the visa numbers in the EB-2 India and China categories, no new green cards numbers will be authorized by the Department of State for this fiscal year.   Starting October 1, 2012, when the new fiscal year starts (and the quotas reset), the government will continue processing and approving pending cases.

Pending I-485 Cases Unaffected; New I-485 Cases Can Still be Filed

Even though no new green card numbers will be authorized (and green cards approved), pending I-485 cases will remain unaffected — they will be subject to preadjudication and will remain pending until a visa number becomes available.   Additionally, applicants who have current priority dates as of the April and May 2012 Visa Bulletin would still be able to file I-485 adjustment of status applications.

Further Updates and News

We invite you to subscribe to our free weekly immigration newsletter to receive timely updates on this and related topics.  We also invite you to contact us if our office can be of any assistance in your immigration matters or you have any questions or comments about this alert or the May 2012 Visa Bulletin.  Finally, if you already haven’t already, please consider our Visa Bulletin Predictions tool which provides personalized predictions and charts helping you understand when a particular priority date may become current and what are the movement patterns.

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FY2013 H-1B Numbers Update – 25,000 Regular and 10,900 Masters Cap Visas Used (April 20, 2012)

The H-1B season is well underway and we have received the third “official” update on the FY2013  cap-subject H-1Bs filed since April 2 for both the Vermont and California Service Centers.   As of April 20, 2012, USCIS has received approximately 25,000 H-1B petitions counting toward the 65,000 cap.   This suggests a rate of filings of approximately 4,000 regular cap cases per week.   Similarly, as of April 20, there were approximately 10,900 H-1B visas filed subject to the U.S. Masters cap (which has 20,000 limit).   This suggests a rate of filings of approximately 1,200-1,500 master’s cap cases per week.

H-1B Cap Update

This report suggests a continued (but not as dramatic as the increase seen during last week’s report) demand and strong rate of H-1B filings compared to last year.  While it is still early in the H-1B cap season, the rate of filings seems to be 3,000-4,000 per week under the regular cap and 1,200-1,500 per week for the master’s cap.

Comparison to the Last H-1B Season (FY2012)

Our office keeps detailed statistics of the previous H-1B filing seasons, and we are able to make comparisons with prior H-1B years in an effort to estimate demand and when the H-1B caps may be reached.  Considering the estimated rates of filings for the regular and master’s caps, all indications are that the cap would remain open for 3-6 months.

H-1B Cap Comparison

Last year, during the FY2012 H-1B filing season, by April 22nd, there were 8,000 regular cap H-1B petitions filed.   Last year’s April 22nd count of Master’s H-1B cap filing was 5,900.   This year’s 25,000 and 10,900 filings for the regular and master’s caps, respectively, for the first three weeks of the H-1B filing season suggests that there is dramatic increase in the number of H-1Bs filed early in the H-1B season.   Based on this information, and assuming there is no significant  increase in the rate of filings, we anticipate that this year’s H-1B season would extend for between 3-6 months.

H-1B Quota Trends

Throughout every H-1B cap filing season, we provide timely updates on the H-1B numbers and we draw predictions and conclusions based on the numbers and our experience.  So early in the process for this year, it is impossible to draw any trends; however, stay tuned for more numbers and updated trends over the next days and weeks.  You may want to subscribe to our free weekly immigration newsletter to receive timely updates on this and related topics.

In the meantime, if you are considering filing a cap-subject H-1B petition as part of the FY2013 quota, please contact us as soon as possible — it is never too early to file a cap-subject H-1B petition.

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USCIS Releases Report on U.S. Naturalizations in 2011

USCIS has released a report on the number and characteristics of naturalization applications for 2011.     The report focuses on the applicants who were 18 and over and who became U.S. citizens during 2011.    According to the data, in 2011, the total number of persons naturalizing was 694,193.   The leading countries of birth of new citizens were Mexico (94,783), India (45,985), the Philippines (42,520), the People’s Republic of China (32,864), and Colombia (22,693).  The largest number of persons naturalizing lived in California (151,183), Florida (87,309), and New York (76,603).

Historical Trend in the Number of Naturalizations

The number of persons naturalizing in the United States increased to 694,193 in 2011 from 619,913 in 2010 following a decrease from 743,715 in 2009 and 1,046,539 in 2008. The record number of naturalizations in 2008 followed a surge in applications in 2007 in advance of an application fee increase and efforts to encourage eligible immigrants to naturalize. The annual number of applications for naturalization decreased from 2007 to 2008 and increased again after 2008 to 760,000 in 2011.

Region and Country of Birth of Naturalized Applicants

Thirty-six percent of persons naturalizing in 2011 were born in Asia, followed by 31 percent from North America, and 12 percent from Europe. Mexico was the leading country of birth of persons naturalizing in 2011 (14 percent). The next leading countries of origin of new citizens in 2011 were India (6.6 percent), the Philippines (6.1 percent), the People’s Republic of China (4.7 percent), and Colombia (3.3 percent). The 10 countries with the largest number of naturalizations accounted for 48 percent of all new citizens in 2011.

Leading States and Metropolitan Areas of Residence

Seventy-three percent of all persons naturalizing in 2011 resided in 10 states. California was home to the largest percentage of persons naturalizing (22 percent), followed by Florida (13 percent) and New York (11 percent). Fifty-one percent of all new citizens in 2011 lived in 10 metropolitan areas.   The leading metropolitan areas of residence were New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, NY-NJ-PA (14 percent), Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, CA (9 percent), and Miami-Fort Lauderdale- Pompano Beach, FL (8 percent).

Years in Immigrant Status

Persons naturalizing in 2011 spent a median of six years in legal permanent resident status before becoming citizens. Immigrants born in Africa spent the least time in legal immigrant status (5 years), followed by immigrants from Asia, Europe, and South America (6 years), Oceania (7 years), and North America (10 years). The median years spent in LPR status was unchanged overall in comparison to 2010, but increased by one year for persons born in Asia and South America (meaning that folks waited longer before they applied for citizenship).

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FY2013 H-1B Numbers Update – 20,600 Regular and 9,700 Masters Cap Visas Used (April 13, 2012)

The H-1B season is well underway and we have received the second “official” update on the FY2013  cap-subject H-1Bs filed since April 2 for both the Vermont and California Service Centers.   As of April 13, 2012, USCIS has received approximately 20,600 H-1B petitions counting toward the 65,000 cap.   This suggests a rate of filings of approximately 3,200 regular cap cases per week.   Similarly, as of April 9, there were approximately 9,700 H-1B visas filed subject to the U.S. Masters cap (which has 20,000 limit).   This suggests a rate of filings of approximately 1,500 master’s cap cases per week.

H-1B Cap Update

This report, the second of the fiscal year, suggests a continued (but not as dramatic as the increase seen during last week’s report) demand and strong rate of H-1B filings compared to last year.  We do not yet have sufficient information to develop a more reliable trend of the rate of filings, but we hope to be able to do so within a week or two.

Comparison to the Last H-1B Season (FY2012)

Our office keeps detailed statistics of the previous H-1B filing seasons, and we are able to make comparisons with prior H-1B years in an effort to estimate demand and when the H-1B caps may be reached.  While it is too early to provide an estimate of when the H-1B cap would be reached for this fiscal year, all indications are that the cap would remain open for 3-6 months.

H-1B Cap Comparison

Last year, during the FY2012 H-1B filing season, by April 8th, there were 5,900 regular cap H-1B petitions filed.   Last year’s April 8th count of Master’s H-1B cap filing was 4,500.   This year’s 20,600 and 9,700 filings for the regular and master’s caps, respectively, for the first two weeks of the H-1B filing season suggests that there is dramatic increase in the number of H-1Bs filed early in the H-1B season.   Based on this information, and assuming there is no significant  increase in the rate of filings, we anticipate that this year’s H-1B season would extend for between 3-6 months.

H-1B Quota Trends

Throughout every H-1B cap filing season, we provide timely updates on the H-1B numbers and we draw predictions and conclusions based on the numbers and our experience.  So early in the process for this year, it is impossible to draw any trends; however, stay tuned for more numbers and updated trends over the next days and weeks.  You may want to subscribe to our free weekly immigration newsletter to receive timely updates on this and related topics.

In the meantime, if you are considering filing a cap-subject H-1B petition as part of the FY2013 quota, please contact us as soon as possible — it is never too early to file a cap-subject H-1B petition.

No comments

FY2013 H-1B Numbers Update – 17,400 Regular and 8,200 Masters Cap Visas Used (April 9, 2012)

The H-1B season is well underway and we have received the first “official” updates on the FY2013  cap-subject H-1Bs filed since April 2 for both the Vermont and California Service Centers.   As of April 9, 2012, USCIS has received approximately 17,400 H-1B petitions counting toward the 65,000 cap.   Similarly, as of April 9, there were approximately 8,200 H-1B visas filed subject to the U.S. Masters cap (which has 20,000 limit).

H-1B Cap Update

This report, the first of the fiscal year, suggests a dramatic (more than double) demand in the rate of H-1B filings compared to last year.  We do not yet have sufficient information to develop a more reliable trend of the rate of filings, but we hope to be able to do so within a week or two.

Comparison to the Last H-1B Season (FY2012)

Our office keeps detailed statistics of the previous H-1B filing seasons, and we are able to make comparisons with prior H-1B years in an effort to estimate demand and when the H-1B caps may be reached.  While it is too early to provide an estimate of when the H-1B cap would be reached for this fiscal year, all indications are that the cap would remain open for 3-6 months.

H-1B Cap Comparison

Last year, during the FY2012 H-1B filing season, by April 8th, there were 5,900 regular cap H-1B petitions filed.   Last year’s April 8th count of Master’s H-1B cap filing was 4,500.   This year’s 17,400 and 8,200 filings for the regular and master’s caps, respectively, for the first few days of the H-1B filing season suggests that there is dramatic increase in the number of H-1Bs filed early in the H-1B season.   Based on this information, and assuming there is no dramatic increase in the rate of filings, we anticipate that this year’s H-1B season would extend for between 3-6 months.

H-1B Quota Trends

Throughout every H-1B cap filing season, we provide timely updates on the H-1B numbers and we draw predictions and conclusions based on the numbers and our experience.  So early in the process for this year, it is impossible to draw any trends; however, stay tuned for more numbers and updated trends over the next days and weeks.  You may want to subscribe to our free weekly immigration newsletter to receive timely updates on this and related topics.

In the meantime, if you are considering filing a cap-subject H-1B petition as part of the FY2013 quota, please contact us as soon as possible — it is never too early to file a cap-subject H-1B petition.

No comments

May 2012 Visa Bulletin – EB-2 India and China Retrogress to August 15, 2007; Possibility for EB-2 India and China to Become “Unavailable” and for EB-2 ROW Cutoff Date

The U.S. State Department has just released the May 2012 Visa Bulletin which is the eighth Visa Bulletin for the FY2012 fiscal year.    The major headline in the upcoming month’s bulletin is the significant retrogression in EB-2 India and China, the continued forward movement in FB-1, the possibility of a cutoff date for EB-2 ROW and the possibility that EB-2 India and China would become unavailable for the rest of the fiscal year.

Summary of the May 2012 Visa Bulletin – Employment-Based (EB)

Below is a summary of the May 2012 Visa Bulletin with respect to employment-based petitions:

  • EB-1 remains current across the board.
  • EB-2 remains current for EB-2 ROW, Mexico and Philippines.   EB-2 India and EB-2 China both move back, or retrogress, by two years and nine and a half months to August 15, 2007.
  • EB-3 ROW, EB-3 Mexico and EB-3 Philippines move forward by only three (3) weeks to May 1, 2006, EB-3 China  moves forward by one (1) month to April 1, 2006, while EB-3 India  moves forward by only one (1) week to September 8, 2002.
  • The “other worker” category remains unchanged (again) at  April 22, 2003 for China.  It moves forward by three (3) weeks for ROW, Mexico and Philippines to May 1, 2006.  It also moves forward by one (1) week for India to September 8, 2002.

Summary of the May 2012 Visa Bulletin – Family-Based (FB)

Below is a summary of the May 2012 Visa Bulletin with respect to family-based petitions:

  • FB-1 moves forward (again, for eighth consecutive month).  FB-1 ROW, China and India all move forward by one (1) month to May 1, 2005.   FB-1 Mexico moves forward by one (1) week to May 15, 1993 and FB-1 Philippines moves forward by one (1) week to July 1, 1997.
  • FB-2A moves forward by five  (5) weeks to November 15, 2009 for ROW, China, India, and Philippines.  FB-2A Mexico moves forward by six (6) weeks to October 15, 2009.
  • FB-2B ROW, China and India move forward by five (5) weeks to February 22, 2004.  FB-2B Mexico remains unchanged at December 1, 1992 and FB-2B Philippines remains unchanged at December 8, 2001.

Retrogression in EB-2 India and China Caused by High Demand/Number of Filings; No Forward Movement Expected Until at Least October 2012; Slow Movement  for EB-3; Continued Forward Movement in FB-1

One of the major headlines this month, in the eighth Visa Bulletin for the Fiscal Year 2012 is the retrogression in the EB-2 India and China cutoff dates — all the way back to August 15, 2007.   Although this retrogression should not come as a surprise to our clients and readers who may have seen our repeated alerts over the past few weeks, the retrogression would certainly cause disappointment to many I-485 Indian or Chinese applicants.

Unfortunately, the number of filings and our predictions for the Visa Bulletins for the rest of the year (see below) suggest that there should not be any forward movement expected in EB-2 India and China for the rest of the fiscal year (until the October 2012 Visa Bulletin).   At the same time, EB-3 continues steady (but slow) forward movement, especially EB-3 India which has been advancing by only one week per month for months.  EB-3 India is expected to continue its (very) slow movement.

This Visa Bulletin also shows continued forward movement in the FB-1 category which has been moving steadily for the past several months.    We continue to see the FB-2A category move forward, although by not as much as we saw for the last few months and after the significant retrogression during the months before.

EB-2 India and China:  USCIS to Continue Accepting I-485 Applications for Adjustment of Status; Pending I-485 Will be Preadjudicated

Despite this retrogression in the EB-2 India and China categories,  USCIS will continue to accept for the rest of the month of April new I-485 applications for adjustment of status for Indian and Chinese nationals with priority dates prior to the date established in the April 2012 Visa Bulletin.

Those filed and pending I-485 cases with priority dates of August 15, 2007, or later, should not see any approvals over the next few months.   Instead, those cases will be processed by USCIS to the point of approval (pre-adjudicated) and a request for a visa number will be forwarded to Visa Control at the Department of State to be held in a “pending” file until new visas are available beginning with FY2013 on October 1, 2012.

Visa Bulletin Cutoff Date Predictions

The May 2012 Visa Bulletin also provides some predictions on the movement of the cutoff dates for the next few months (presumably for the rest of the fiscal year).

Employment-based Categories

  • EB-1 – expected to remain current;
  • EB-2 ROW – there is a potential that EB-2 ROW  may require a cutoff to be established due to decrease in the number of available visa numbers for the fiscal year;
  • EB-2 India and China – no forward movement, possibility to become “Unavailable,” effectively stopping all approvals for EB-2 India and China immigrant cases;
  • EB-3 ROW – three to five weeks at a time;
  • EB-3 China – up to six weeks;
  • EB-3 India – up to two weeks; and
  • EB-3 Mexico and Philippines – up to five weeks.

Family-based Categories

  • FB-1 – four to six weeks at a time;
  • FB-2A – up to two and half months;
  • FB-2B – three to six weeks;
  • FB-3 – three to six weeks; and
  • FB-4 – three to five weeks.

Further Updates and News

We invite you to subscribe to our free weekly immigration newsletter to receive timely updates on this and related topics.  We also invite you to contact us if our office can be of any assistance in your immigration matters or you have any questions or comments about the May 2012 Visa Bulletin.  Finally, if you already haven’t, please consider our Visa Bulletin Predictions tool which provides personalized predictions and charts helping you understand when a particular priority date may become current and what are the movement patterns.

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(Unofficial) FY2013 H-1B Numbers Update – Approx. 17,000 Regular and 5,000 Masters Cap Visas Used (April 4, 2012)

The H-1B season is well underway and there are some “unofficial” updates on the FY2013  cap-subject H-1Bs filed since April 2 for both the Vermont and California Service Centers.  As of April 4, 2012, USCIS has received approximately 17,000 H-1B petitions counting toward the 65,000 cap.   Similarly, as of April 4, there were approximately 5,000 H-1B visas filed subject to the U.S. Masters cap (which has 20,000 limit).    This suggests a dramatic (more than double) demand in the rate of H-1B filings compared to last year.

Comparison to the Last H-1B Season (FY2012)

Our office keeps detailed statistics of the previous H-1B filing seasons, and we are able to make comparisons with prior H-1B years in an effort to estimate demand and when the H-1B caps may be reached.  While it is too early to provide an estimate of when the H-1B cap would be reached for this fiscal year, all indications are that the cap would remain open for 3-6 months.

Last year, during the FY2012 H-1B filing season, by April 8th, there were 5,900 regular cap H-1B petitions filed.   Last year’s April 8th count of Master’s H-1B cap filing was 4,500.   This year’s unofficial estimate of 17,000 and 5,000 filings for the regular and master’s caps, respectively, for the first few days of the H-1B filing season suggests that there is dramatic increase in the number of H-1Bs filed early in the H-1B season.   Based on this information, and assuming there is no dramatic increase in the rate of filings, we anticipate that this year’s H-1B season would extend for between 3-6 months.

H-1B Quota Trends

Throughout every H-1B cap filing season, we provide timely updates on the H-1B numbers and we draw predictions and conclusions based on the numbers and our experience.  So early in the process for this year, it is impossible to draw any trends; however, stay tuned for more numbers and updated trends over the next days and weeks.  You may want to subscribe to our free weekly immigration newsletter to receive timely updates on this and related topics.

In the meantime, if you are considering filing a cap-subject H-1B petition as part of the FY2013 quota, please contact us as soon as possible — it is never too early to file a cap-subject H-1B petition.

No comments

EB-2 India and China Cutoff Dates Moved (“Internally”) Back to August 15, 2007; I-485 Filings Still Possible

We have written extensively over the past few weeks about the upcoming retrogression in the EB-2 India and China categories.   So, it should not come as a surprise that the Department of State has confirmed what we have anticipated and expected for a couple of weeks — namely, that the Department of State has “internally” moved back the cutoff dates for EB-2 India and China to August 15, 2007.

Department of State Confirms EB-2 India and China “Internal” Retrogression Even Before the Official May 2012 Visa Bulletin is Released

Mr. Charlie Oppenheim, the Chief of Visa Control at the State Department, has confirmed that, effective March 23, 2012, no further EB-2 visas will be authorized for China-mainland born and India applicants with priority dates of August 15, 2007, or later.  It should be noted that immigrant visa applicants processing in the month of April at consulates abroad will still receive visas, as those numbers were allocated before the cut-off date was established.

USCIS to Continue Accepting I-485 Applications for Adjustment of Status; Pending I-485 Will be Preadjudicated

Despite this “internal” retrogression, Mr. Oppenheim has confirmed that USCIS will continue to accept for the rest of the month of April new I-485 applications for adjustment of status for Indian and Chinese nationals with priority dates prior to the date established in the April 2012 Visa Bulletin.

Those filed and pending I-485 cases with priority dates of August 15, 2007, or later, should not see any approvals over the next few months.   Instead, those cases will be processed by USCIS to the point of approval (pre-adjudicated) and a request for a visa number will be forwarded to Visa Control at DOS to be held in a “pending” file until new visas are available beginning with FY2013 on October 1, 2012.

Conclusion

Many EB-2 India and China I-485 applicants will be disappointed by the fact that no new I-485 approvals will come for at least several months.   However, the fact that EB-2 India and China cutoff dates moved so significantly over the past several months has allowed many applicants to file their (and their families’) I-485 applications.   Among the immediate benefits of an I-485 filing are advance parole and work permit documents, in addition to ability to port a pending I-485 to a new employer under AC21.

As we enter the last 20-25 days of the current cutoff dates, we urge those EB-2 India and China applicants who are eligible to file their I-485s due to a current (as of the April 2012 Visa Bulletin) priority date to aim to do so as soon as possible and in any case before the end of the month.    Please contact us if we can be of any assistance in the process.

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US Consular Visa Processing Fees to Change April 13, 2012

Effective April 13, 2012, the Department of State is changing the visa processing fees.   Some of the fees will increase, while some will decrease.  For example, the fees for most nonimmigrant visa applications and Border Crossing Cards will increase.  On the other hand, all immigrant visa processing fees will decrease (some by a substantial amount).

Nonimmigrant Visas — Fees Increase

The Department of State is required to recover, as must as possible, the cost of processing a visa application and a stamp through the collection of application fees.  According to the Department of State, for a number of reasons, the current fees no longer cover the actual cost of processing nonimmigrant visas. As a result, the nonimmigrant visa fee increase will support the addition and expansion of overseas facilities, as well as additional staffing required to meet increased visa demand.

Although most categories of nonimmigrant visa processing fees will increase, the fee for E visas (treaty-traders and treaty-investors) and K visas (for fiancé(e)s of U.S. citizens) will decrease.

Type of Visa Previous Fee New Fee
Tourist, Business, Transit, Crew Member, Student, Exchange Visitor, and Journalist visas $140 $160 ()
Petition-Based visas (H, L, O, P, Q, and R) $150 $190 ()
Treaty Investor and Trader visas (E) $390 $270 ()
Fiancé(e) visas (K) $350 $240 ()
Border Crossing Cards (age 15 and older) $140 $160 ()
Border Crossing Cards (under age 15) $14 $15 ()


Immigrant Visas – Fees Decrease

Because of a reallocation of costs associated with immigrant visas, all categories of immigrant visa processing fees will decrease as shown below.  Some of the fee decreases are fairly significant.

Type of Visa Previous Fee New Fee
Immediate Relative and Family Preference Applications $330 $230 ()
Employment-Based Applications $720 $405 ()
Other Immigrant Visa Applications $305 $220 ()
Diversity Visa Program Fee $440 $330 ()
Determining Returning Resident Status $380 $275 ()


Conclusion

We welcome the Department of State’s efforts to make its services more affordable and for its fees to reflect the actual cost of services provided.   It should be noted that it has been thought that some of the weaker demand in certain immigration visa categories, during the past few years, has been thought to be due to the high fees.    By lowering the immigrant visa fees, the Department of State may be addressing concerns that some of its services are pricing some applicants out.

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