“US Visa Fees Surge: H-1B, L-1, and EB-5 Visa Categories Impacted Starting April 1”

“US Announces Fee Hike for H-1B and Other Visas Starting April 1”

In a move set to impact foreign workers and investors, the United States has announced a fee hike for various visa categories, effective from April 1. The H-1B visa, crucial for technology companies hiring foreign workers, will see an increase in application fees from $460 to $780. Additionally, the H-1B registration fee will rise from $10 to $215 starting next year. The L-1 visa fee, designed for intracompany transferees, has surged from $460 to $1,385. Investors eyeing the EB-5 visa will face a notable increase, with fees jumping from $3,675 to $11,160. The adjustments aim to address administrative burdens and enhance efficiency, according to the US Department of Homeland Security.

The H-1B visa, a cornerstone for US tech companies hiring skilled foreign workers, will experience its first fee hike since 2016. As of April 1, the application fee for form I-129 will be raised to $780, impacting companies relying on this visa category to secure specialized talent from countries like India and China. Simultaneously, the H-1B registration fee will see an increase from $10 to $215, beginning next year.

The L-1 visa, created for intracompany transfers within multinational corporations, will witness a notable fee adjustment. The application fee rises from $460 to $1,385, affecting businesses moving certain employees from foreign offices to temporary assignments in the US.

Investors seeking the EB-5 visa, a pathway to US residency through substantial investment, will face a substantial fee hike. The EB-5 visa fee has surged from $3,675 to $11,160. This program, established in 1990, encourages high-net-worth foreign investors to invest a minimum of $500,000 in a US business, creating jobs for American workers.

The US Department of Homeland Security argues that the fee adjustments and associated changes in forms will lead to reduced administrative burdens, increased efficiency in the adjudicative process, and improved assessment of service costs. While the fee hikes aim to balance the cost of providing immigration services, they raise concerns among businesses and investors relying on these visa categories.

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