USCIS Fee Rule FAQ: Vital Guidance for Employment-Based Petitioners

Posted by Donald GrossMay 21, 20240 Comments

USCIS has released a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) to clarify the process of ensuring accurate fee submissions in light of the recent Fee Rule.  Here's a breakdown of the key points:

  • Correct Fee Submissions: USCIS verifies if the payment matches the required fees.  Failure to submit the correct fee leads to rejection, regardless of any overpayment.
  • Non-Profit Qualifications for I-129 and I-140 Petitions: If you affirm being a nonprofit organized as tax-exempt or a governmental research organization, you must submit the appropriate payment for a nonprofit organization.
  • Employee Count Verification for I-129 and I-140 Petitions: Petitioners must precisely report the number of employees. If you confirm employing 25 or fewer full-time equivalent employees but report more, include supporting documentation to demonstrate compliance.
  • More about the (controversial) Asylum Program Fee: The Asylum Program Fee ($600) is a new fee paid by employers filing Form I-129, Form I-129CW, or Form I-140. This fee supports the asylum program.
    • Small employers with 25 or fewer full-time equivalent employees receive a discounted fee of $300. Nonprofits are exempt from this fee.
    • Multi-Form Submissions: Each form requires a separate payment. Combining payments for multiple forms may result in rejection.
    • Definition of Full-Time Equivalent Employee:
      • This includes both full-time and part-time employees regardless of their immigrant status, counted at the time of filing, except for certain beneficiaries unless currently working for the company or its affiliates and subsidiaries.
      • Documentation Requirements: Petitioners may submit the most recent IRS Form 941 Employer's Quarterly Federal Return, IRS Form 943, or any relevant evidence showing the number of full-time equivalent employees. Removing salary information on IRS forms is permissible if it supports fee eligibility and not key elements for making a decision on your case.
  • Reduced Asylum Program Fee for Individual Self-Petitioners: Individuals filing Form I-140 as an EB-1A noncitizen of extraordinary ability or as an EB-2 with a national interest waiver pay a reduced Asylum Program Fee of $300.

In light of the USCIS Fee Rule Update and its impact on employment-based petitioners, it is crucial to have expert guidance when navigating complex immigration matters like EB-2 NIW waivers and EB-1A cases.  At Donald Gross Law Group, we specialize in providing comprehensive support tailored to your specific needs. with our deep understanding of immigration law and commitment to client satisfaction, we are ready to assist you every step of the way. Trust Donald Gross Law Group to be your ally in achieving your immigration goals.