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Being targeted? The “political asylum fee” for employment-based immigrants with H1B work visas will increase by thousands of yuan

usaimmigration office(USCIS) has recently announced H1Bwork visaNew rules for lotteries: This year, a lottery system based on the calculation of “one person, one quota” will be implemented to prevent abuse of lottery rules and fundamentally benefit Chinese applicants. Around the same time as the new regulations, employment-related immigration and visa fees also increased, with H-1B work visa fees rising particularly significantly. Some immigration lawyers estimate that for large companies to process employment-based immigration, the per capita cost has increased by more than a thousand yuan, including the newly added “asylum program fee”. “It seems like employment-based immigrants are being targeted.”

According to the immigration fee adjustment details recently announced by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services, there have been increases for most types of applications. The most eye-catching point is the “Asylum Program Fee” that applicants for Forms I-129 and I-140 must pay starting April 1 this year. These two forms are usually required for H1B work visas and EB2 and EB3 employment immigration. According to the detailed regulations, a large company (more than 25 people) must pay 600 yuan for each applicant, and a small company must pay 300 yuan. Nonprofit Organization Exemption.

Describing this new asylum fee, the Immigration Bureau wrote that from this year, H-2A agricultural and industrial immigrants, H-1B work visa and O-1 special talents will have to pay this fee. “This fee will be used to deal with political operationsShelterApply to avoid spending taxpayers’ money. There is no application fee for political asylum. ,

In addition to the new “Asylum Program Fee,” the Bureau of Immigration’s fee increase also includes a $280 increase in the I-129 form application fee and a $305 increase in the premium processing fee. After all, for a large company for its employees to apply for a career-related work visa or green card, the per person application fee will rise to more than 1,000 yuan, and for a small company, the cost will exceed 600 yuan. Will go. In addition, the H-1B registration processing fee will also increase from next year, from 10 yuan to 215 yuan per person, an increase of 2050%. In addition to the increase in fees during the employment-based immigration application stage, that is, when submitting Form 140, the subsequent submission of Form 485, which is an adjustment of status application, increased from 1,140 yuan to 1,440 yuan per person. An increase of 300 yuan.

Xu Junliang, a senior immigration lawyer in Southern California, said that this time the newly added “political asylum project fee” “seems as if employment immigrants are being targeted.” Because I-129 and I-140 are almost all the forms that immigrants need to submit for employment. Xu Junliang said that it is reasonable that the Immigration Bureau needs to go through the legislative process to increase fees, rather than increasing fees arbitrarily. For example, a “competition law fee” was added to employment-based immigration applications several years ago. It was added by the Immigration Bureau only after legislation was passed by both houses of Congress. Nowadays, it has not quite gone through the “political asylum project fee” legislative process, but has simply been “airborne”. I fear this will lead to citizen groups filing lawsuits against the Immigration Bureau. Xu Junliang said that the new fee rules will not be implemented until April, and must be victimized in legal proceedings, so complaints may not immediately come forward to the Immigration Bureau.

Asked whether the increase in “political asylum fees” for professional immigrants is related to the increase in the number of people seeking political asylum in the United States in recent years, Xu Junliang said, “It is possible.” The number of people seeking asylum in the United States has increased significantly in recent years. According to USCIS, the United States received a record 239,000 affirmative asylum applications in fiscal year 2022, compared to only 62,800 in fiscal year 2021. Fiscal year 2023 reached a new high with 454,000 asylum applications.

Xu Junliang said he was not surprised by the sharp increase in immigration fees. He said that the Immigration Department has not increased the fees for many years. Taking into account inflation, the salaries of the company’s employees have also increased, and such price increases are still acceptable.

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