A federal judge granted a motion for a preliminary injunction against a far-reaching U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) fee rule. The rule would increase fees on businesses, new citizens, international students needing work authorization and others. The fees were scheduled to go into effect on October 2, 2020.

“As long as this preliminary injunction is in place, USCIS can’t raise fees,” said Doug Rand, co-founder of Boundless Immigration, in an interview. “The government will rush to obtain a stay of the injunction from the 9th Circuit, and there’s no telling how long that will take or what the outcome will be.”

The rule would increase fees for H-1B petitions by 21% (from $460 to $555) and L visa petitions by 75% (from $460 to $805). USCIS would impose higher fees on companies with more than 50 employees with at least 50% of their workforce in H-1B and L-1 status by reinterpreting the law to impose an additional $4,000 fee on extensions. (See here for the legislative history.) The rule would also increase the cost of petitions by more than 50% for O, TN, E, P, Q and R visas.

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