Lawsuit Challenges New USCIS Fee Rule 

March, 2024 - Dwight D. Myfelt, Barbara W. Menefee

Significant increases to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) filing fees are set to go into effect on April 1, 2024.  However, a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado may delay that implementation. The plaintiffs in the lawsuit, the ITServe Alliance (a group that represents technology companies), the American Immigrant Investor Alliance, and a Canadian investor, have asked for a preliminary injunction to stop the planned fee increases. 

As previously reported, the fee rule would require employers to pay 70% more for H-1B petitions, 201% more for L-1 petitions, and 129% more for individuals on O-1 petitions.  One of the more controversial aspects of the new rule requires a $600 Asylum Program Fee to be charged to certain petitioners who are filing an I-129 Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker or an I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Workers, which are common forms employers use when filing employment-based nonimmigrant and immigrant visa petitions.

The lawsuit argues three things: 

1. The fee rule was promulgated without following proper rule making procedures;

2. The fee rule doubles immigrant investor fees through the EB-5 program in violation of law.  Specifically, the USCIS imposed new fees on immigrant investors and regional centers without completing the fee study that Congress required as part of the EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act of 2022; and

3. The asylum-related fee “arbitrarily and without legal justification” shifts the burden to certain employers to fund the government’s handling of asylum cases.

The full complaint can be accessed here.

As of today, the fee increases are scheduled to go into effect on April 1.  The Dinsmore immigration team will monitor this litigation and provide updates as needed.  Please contact any member of our team for more information.


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