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U.S. Immigration Fee Increases Amid Work Visa Suspensions and USCIS Furloughs

Blog posted on by Evelyn Ackah in Business Immigration to Canada and Business Immigration Law

U.S. Immigration Fee Increases Amid Work Visa Suspensions and USCIS Furloughs

The United States is implementing new immigration fee increases while suspending work visas and as the government agency who oversees visas is planning to furlough up to 75% of its employees. Cross border businesses and individuals will be impacted the U.S. immigration changes for the remainder of 2020, including:

  • Fee increases
  • U.S. Work Visa Suspensions
  • USCIS Furloughs

How Will USCIS Immigration Fees Impact Canadians?

Canada immigration lawyer Evelyn Ackah explains how USCIS immigration fee increases will impact Canadians.

Immigration Fee Increases

The United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will increase fees on immigration applications effective October 2, 2020. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) says immigration fees will increase an average of 20% to help make up for a shortfall in the USCIS budget due to COVID and immigration administrative costs.

H1-B visas for highly skilled foreign workers will see some fee increases of over 100%, while L visa application fees for intra-company transfers will have a 75% increase. The USCIS fee increases will impact immigration applications, businesses, citizens and students.

Immigration fee increases that go into effect in October include:

Source: Forbes

U.S. Work Visa Suspensions

On April 22, 2020, President Trump temporarily suspended issuing new green cards (permanent lawful residence) to stimulate America's economic recovery from COVID. Effective June 24, Trump continued and expanded the temporary visa suspension. The new work visa restrictions impact H-1B tech workers

The new visa suspension includes work visas restrictions for the remainder of 2020:

  • L-1 visas for intracompany transfers
  • H-1Bs for workers in specialty occupations
  • H-4 visa for spouses
  • H-2Bs for temporary non-agricultural workers
  • J-1 visas for exchange visitors

According to CNet, "Trump said the suspension of work visas, which will reportedly block more than 500,000 people from entering the US this year, will help unemployed Americans find jobs during the coronavirus pandemic."

USCIS Employee Furloughs

Up to 75% of USCIS employee furloughs are scheduled to begin August 31 due to agency budget shortfalls. U.S. immigration experts say the anti-immigration Trump administration have increased USCIS costs while limiting immigration that provides revenue for the agency, including:

  • adding USCIS staffing and more red-tape to limit legal immigration
  • new temporary restrictions on visas through 2020 due to COVID
  • efforts to deny immigrants who would qualify for public assistance
  • blocking DACA applications

Do You Need a Work Visa to the United States Now?

B2B Immigration Solutions

For over 21 years, Evelyn Ackah has provided corporate immigration services and B2B immigration solutions. If you want to expand your international team, you need a local immigration professional who understands local immigration and employment law.

HR and Relocation Company Liaison Services
Global expansion requires an international immigration lawyer to make sure you are in compliance with immigration laws and have proactive legal solutions. Ackah Law works with your internal Human Resources team and your international relocation company to identify and resolve potential problems before they happen.

An experienced business immigration lawyer can assess your situation and give you the best advice and options on your ability to work and travel to the United States now.

If you have questions about your immigration application, your eligibility for your or your team to cross the U.S. / Canada border on business, or other immigration issues during the coronavirus restrictions or for post-restriction business, contact Ackah Law today at (587) 602-0343 Ext. 100 or 1-800-932-1190 or email contact@ackahlaw.com.


Evelyn L. Ackah, BA, LL.B.

Founder/Managing Lawyer

Ms. Ackah is passionate about immigration law because it focuses on people and relationships, which are at the core of her personal values. Starting her legal career as a corporate/commercial ...

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