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March 21, 2023

ACEC Submits Comments on Employment-Based Visa Fees

ACEC submitted comments on a proposal from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to substantially increase the fees associated with employment-based visas.

USCIS processes the visas that engineering firms use to employ international talent when qualified Americans and U.S. residents are not available. This includes optional practical training (OPT), H-1B visas, and employment-based green cards. Over ninety percent of the USCIS budget comes from visa fees and the agency generally proposes fee increases every four years, although the fees were last raised in 2016.

In addition to significant increases in a variety of fees connected to employment-based visas, USCIS proposed imposing a $600 asylum program fee on all employers sponsoring temporary workers or workers for permanent residence visas to cover the expanded costs of asylum claims. ACEC urged USCIS to revise the proposed fee schedule with more moderate increases that reflect inflation and to seek congressional appropriations to process asylum claims.

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March 21, 2023



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