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Immigration Weekly Round-Up: New Visa Fees Proposed in Congress; Democrats Weigh Social Benefits for Undocumented Immigrants

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Proposed Increases to Visa Fees for High Skilled Worker and Other Benefits

Amendments to a House of Representatives reconciliation bill that have been made public are proposing additional fees for visa petitions for high skilled immigrant workers. If approved, these would add expenses to a process that already costs thousands of dollars for each worker.  

The proposal would add a supplemental fee of $500 to file the petition to sponsor a noncitizen for an H-1B visa, which covers individuals in specialty occupations. This fee would be in addition to the current fees, which include a $460 application fee, $500 anti-fraud detection fee, a $4,000 fee for certain businesses with large numbers of nonimmigrant workers, and a $2,500 for premium processing to ensure that the application receives a decision from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in a timely fashion. 

The House bill also proposes increasing the fees for family-based immigrant petitions, permanent residence for workers in the U.S., and employment authorization for certain spouses of certain immigrants in the United States.  

The NM Immigration Blog will continue to cover this story as Congress considers the bill.

Democrats Revive Discussion of Immigration Benefits in House Bill

This week, House Democrats proposed restoring access to public benefits for potentially millions of undocumented immigrants in the United States.

A group of Senate Democrats, including Bob Menendez (NJ), Catherine Cortez Masto (NV), Alex Padilla (CA), and Ben Ray Lujan (NM), made the push late Tuesday night and received approval from party leadership. Despite the advancement of these provisions, Senator Padilla acknowledged Wednesday that “we’ve still got to keep fighting.” This is a reversal from an earlier proposal, in which more moderate members of the Democratic party had successfully pushed party leaders to bar certain immigrants from accessing most public benefits.  

The new bill’s language would include a parole provision that would offer work authorization and deportation protection for undocumented immigrants who have been in the United States since January 1, 2011, and provide them with access to certain social safety net programs.

This proposal remains in limbo as Senate Democrats plan to present the parole option to the Senate Parliamentarian for review, as well as continue negotiations on the final language of the bill.

To learn more about this blog post, or if you have any other immigration concerns, please feel free to contact me at or (484) 544-0022.