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Summary of Upcoming Changes to USCIS Filing Requirements in April 2024

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April 1, 2024, will mark the beginning of new changes to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) form editions, filing fees, and direct filing addresses for many common immigration applications and petitions.

Of particular note are the upcoming changes to the filing requirements for the Form I-129 and Form I-140. With the H-1B lottery filing window set to open on April 1 for those selected in the FY 2025 H-1B lottery, it is imperative for visa petitioners to be mindful of the upcoming changes to avoid any unnecessary rejections of their potentially time-sensitive filings.

Filing Fees

On January 31, 2024, USCIS published a final rule adjusting filing fees for most immigration applications and petitions. The new fee structure is set to be implemented on April 1, 2024.

An important change is that a new Asylum Program Fee will be added to all Form I-129 and Form I-140 petitions, in addition to the increased standard filing fee. Petitioners should also note that the new fee structure also implements different fees for “small employers,” defined as those with 25 or fewer full-time employees and for non-profit entities.

Applications and petitions postmarked on or after April 1, 2024, must include the new fees or USCIS will not accept them. There will be no grace period.

New Form Editions

As of April 1, 2024, USCIS will implement new form editions for the Form I-129 and Form I-140, among others.

Dates to keep in mind when filing Form I-129:

  • USCIS will accept the 05/31/23 edition of Form I-129 if it is postmarked before April 1, 2024;
  • USCIS will not accept the 05/31/23 edition of this form if it is postmarked on or after April 1, 2024; and
  • USCIS will only accept the 04/01/24 edition of Form I-129 if it is postmarked on or after April 1, 2024.

Dates to keep in mind when filing Form I-140:

  • USCIS will accept the 05/31/22 edition of this form if it is postmarked before April 1, 2024;
  • USCIS will not accept the 05/31/22 edition of this form if it is postmarked on or after April 1, 2024; and1
  • USCIS will only accept the 04/01/24 edition of this form if it is postmarked on or after April 1, 2024.

There will be no grace period for filing the new versions of Form I-129 and Form I-140 as they must be revised with a new fee calculation.

Direct Filing Address

On April 1, 2024, USCIS service centers will no longer accept Form I-129 petitions requesting H-1B or H-1B1 classification, and all Form I-129 petitions for H-1B or H-1B1 petitions must be filed with a USCIS lockbox. USCIS will reject H-1B or H-1B1 petitions received at a USCIS service center on or after April 1, 2024. It is imperative to double check the filing address prior to filing as there will be no grace period.

Employers can find the lockbox filing addresses for paper-filed forms on USCIS' Form I-129 Direct Filing Addresses page. Employers that are H-1B petitioners and filing Form I-129 alone or with Form I-907 may also file online.

Applications and petitions postmarked on or after April 1, 2024, must be filed at the appropriate lockbox or USCIS will not accept them.

Employers should contact counsel if they have any questions regarding the upcoming changes.

Posted In: Hiring/Recruiting; U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)

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