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Immigration fees will increase on Dec. 23

Immigrants applicants in Arizona as well as some employers will soon have to pay more to file immigration petitions. Beginning on Dec. 23, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will be implementing a new adjustment of fees. Immigration fees have not been overhauled since 2010, and USCIS said that it ignored recommendations to raise them in 2012 and 2014.

Raising immigration fees by an overall average of 21 percent is necessary to continue service, according to USCIS. Benefit request fees that are paid by immigration and naturalization applicants and petitioners make up 95 percent of the funding for USCIS. The immigration fee increases vary greatly, with some fees remaining the same and other fees increasing by over 100 percent.

Immigrant investors and U.S. employers that want to bring foreign workers into the country will experience the highest fee increases. The new fee to file a petition for an H-1B professional or L-1 intracompany transfer visa will increase from $325 to $460. If an entity wants to be designated as an EB-5 regional center, immigrant investors will have to pay $17,795 as opposed to the old fee of $6,230. The fee for petitions for foreign workers to become permanent residents will go from $580 to $700.

With the announcement about the new immigration fee increases, some immigrants and their employers may decide to file petitions before the fee increases go into effect. A U.S. immigration law attorney may be able to help an immigrant employee and their employer to file an application for a new work visa or an application to extend a current work visa.

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