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Don't Wait to File L-1 Visa: U.S. Immigration Fee Increases Proposed

Blog posted on by Evelyn Ackah in U.S. Immigration and Intra-Company Job Transfers - L-1 Visa

Don't Wait to File L-1 Visa: U.S. Immigration Fee Increases Proposed

USCIS has proposed raising the filing fee for L-1 petitions filed on Form I-129 by 201% from $460 to $1,385. On January 3, 2023, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced a proposal to increase the fees on many immigration services. The L-1 filing fee and other employment-based services have the largest proposed increases. The proposed U.S. immigration fee increases for employment-based and family-based immigration services are currently under review but are likely to pass and go into effect in May 2023.

Once the comment period is closed, USCIS will respond to public comments and publish a final rule, which will state the date of implementation as well as final fees. The earliest date the fee increases could go into effect is May 2023, according to insiders,.

Facts About the USCIS Proposed Fee Increases

  • The last USCIS fee increase was in 2016.
  • The 60-day public comment period began on Jan. 4, 2023, and will end on March 6, 2023.
  • Current USCIS fees do not cover operational costs to timely adjudicate USCIS immigration and naturalization benefits.
  • Due to the backlog caused by the Covid pandemic when USCIS restaffing was reduced and revenues declined by 40%, wait times have increased significantly and USCIS is still short-staffed and underfunded.

The NAFTA L-1 Intra Company Job Transfer Visa for Canadians

The L-1 visa permits a U.S. business to transfer an executive or manager from its affiliated Canadian office to one of its American offices. The company must possess a current relationship with the Canadian business (parent organization, subsidiary, affiliate, etc.) and conduct operations in the U.S. in order to be eligible for L-1 status. This visa facilitates the transfer of international personnel needed to provide services that could not otherwise be performed by domestic staff in the United States.

L-1 visas are available to Canadians under new NAFTA regulations, the Canadian-U.S.-Mexico Agreement.

  • The L-1 visa allows a foreign employee to work in the United States for their employer without having to meet the same educational requirements of an H-1B visa.
  • There is no limit to the number of L-1 visas that can be issued, and a successful applicant may remain in the USA for up to 3 years in the first instance, with the option to apply for 2 additional 2-year extensions if they are a manager or executive, or 1 more 2-year extension with specialized knowledge.
  • The L-1 transferee must be employed in the same capacity as they were outside of the U.S.
  • Individuals may also pursue permanent residence while under this classification.

Proposed Employment-Based Fee Increases

  • H-1B cap registration fee from its current $10 to $215: more than 2,000%
  • H-1B filing fee: $780: 70% increase
  • L-1 filing fee: $1,385: 200% increase
  • E and TN filing fee: $1,015: 120% increase
  • I-526E investor applications from $3,675 to $11,160:
  • I-829 petitions from $3,835 to $9,525:
  • I-485 application for adjustment of status: $1,540: 35% increase
  • Petition by an investor to remove conditions on permanent residence: $9,525: 150% increase

Learn More:

Don't Wait: Contact Ackah Law to Start Your L-1 and Other Employment Visa Applications NOW

At Ackah Business Immigration Law, we navigate complex Canadian and U.S. immigration rules and regulations to solve problems and remove obstacles, before you get to the border. Our innovative legal practice combines professional knowledge, personal attention and supportive advice. With knowledge and expertise.

Our Ackah Law team is highly experienced and exclusively practices immigration law. We will collaborate with your business and HR department to provide invaluable knowledge and resources throughout the whole immigration process.

If you have questions about Li-1 intracompany job transfers or need help with U.S. / Canada border on business, contact Ackah Business Immigration Law today at (403) 452-9515 or email contact@ackahlaw.com.

Evelyn L. Ackah, BA, LL.B.

Founder/Managing Lawyer

Ms. Ackah is passionate about immigration law because it focuses on people and relationships, which are at the core of her personal values. Starting her legal career as a corporate/commercial ...

More About Evelyn L. Ackah, BA, LL.B.

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Very informative and definitely a go-to for NAFTA US immigration questions and concerns.


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