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US proposes increasing visa application fee

The Biden administration has proposed a significant hike in immigration fees, including the H-1B visas, reports Business Today. H-1B visas are much sought-after and are very popular among Indian techies. This visa allows US companies to employ foreign workers in specialty occupations that require certain technical expertise. US tech companies bank heavily on this visa in order to hire techies from India and China.
The proposed rule has gone under a 60-day public opposition period, following which it is expected to be enforced.

Here are the changes proposed by the Biden administration:

Application fee for H-1B visa to increase from $460 to $780
Application fee for L-1 visa to increase from $460 to $1,385
Application fee for O-1 visa to increase from $460 to $1,055
Application fee for H-2B petitions to increase from $460 to $1,080

DHS in its federal notification said that USCIS is primarily funded by fees charged to applicants and petitioners for immigration and naturalisation benefit requests. USCIS said that the new fees would allow it to fully recover its operating costs, re-establish and maintain timely case processing, and prevent the accumulation of future case backlogs. The agency receives approximately 96 per cent of its funding from filing fees.

The USCIS generally publishes a fee rule biennially, and proposes these changes to account for the expansion of humanitarian programmes, federally mandated pay raises, additional staffing requirements, and other essential investments, a media statement said.

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