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On Jan. 4, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security issued a proposed rule that would increase certain immigration and naturalization benefit request fees charged by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. ABC is working with the H-2B Coalition to highlight the burden this proposal will place on contractors and other businesses that rely on critical visa programs to support their workforce needs and file comments, which are due on March 6.

This new proposed rule would substantially increase fees to file H-2B petitions. The rule proposes to increase named H-2B application fees from $460 to $1,080 (a 135% increase) and unnamed application fees from $460 to $580 (a 26% increase). Further, USCIS is proposing a new asylum program fee of $600 to be paid by employers who file a Form I-129. Thus, under the proposed rule, the total cost to file a named H-2B application is $1,680 and unnamed is $1,180, a 265% and 157% increase, respectively, by DHS calculations. Finally, USCIS is proposing to limit the number of named beneficiaries per petition to 25, requiring multiple petitions for larger named petitions.

ACTION REQUESTED: If ABC member companies have specific examples of how this fee increase would affect their businesses, please email Peter Comstock at [email protected] or Karen Livingston at [email protected].