U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is poised to implement the biggest increase in immigration filing fees in years. BAL analysis indicates that larger companies could see fee increases of 115% to 175% once fees go up April 1. Small- and medium-sized companies will see their fees more than double.

So how are businesses planning to respond to these fee increases? Will they file fewer petitions or offer fewer immigration benefits to employees as a direct result of the fee increase? Will it make it more difficult for them to compete globally?

We asked these questions and more in a survey of U.S. business leaders. The results are in and indicate that most businesses are taking these fees in stride.

Most businesses will maintain their global edge

57% of respondents reported that the fees will not impact their ability to compete globally. 


Those who have concerns about their ability to compete globally, cited the higher cost to bring talent to the U.S. as the main reason.

“The deployment of foreign talent will be impacted to some extent as we plan to process limited H-1B applications due to an increase in visa fees. […] If we are not able to find suitable local talent in the U.S., it will put pressure on us to process more visas.”

“Simply, if we are spending more in immigration costs, we may need to look at other departments of where decreases may need to be made.”

Most businesses will not adjust how many petitions they file; however, they are interested in exploring alternatives

60% of respondents reported they they will file the same number of petitions and offer the same benefits. 

60% of respondents reported that they are or would like to explore alternatives. 


Interestingly, the same percent of respondents say they will file the same number of petitions and offer the same benefits as say they are or would like to explore alternatives. This may indicate that businesses don’t anticipate the fee increases to change to how many foreign nationals they employ, but that if they can, they’ll find more cost-effective means to do so.

Further, 80% of respondents who recruit F-1 students reported that the fees won’t affect their recruiting of foreign students.

Exploring alternatives

The businesses that are certain they’ll explore alternatives indicated they are considering earlier green card sponsorship, consular filings where possible and reducing spending on premium processing. Some may also explore strategies to transfer employees to other locations in order to provide them with experience that could put them in a more favorable green card category when they return to the U.S.

Uncertainty remains

Though the fee increases are substantial, in some cases raising fees by more than 200%, it appears employers aren’t planning to make dramatic changes to their immigration programs. However, there’s still a decent amount of uncertainty in terms of how employers will respond. Many employers want to explore alternatives, but don’t know where to start.

BAL can help employers consider the strategic options available to them. If you’re interested in speaking with a BAL attorney about the alternative strategies available to you, contact us.

>>To calculate your business’ fees under the new rule, use our USCIS fee calculator.

About the survey

The survey was open to the public February 28, 2024, through March 6, 2024. There was a total of 30 survey respondents from a broad set of industries. Respondent immigration program sizes range from fewer than 10 to more than 500 petitions filed per year.

Respondent industries

  • Construction, utilities & contracting
  • Education
  • Energy, environment & utilities
  • Engineering & architecture
  • Finance & insurance
  • Information & communication technology
  • Manufacturing & product development
  • Media & publishing
  • Pharmaceutical, life sciences & biotech
  • Professional services
  • Public services
  • Religious
  • Science & engineering
  • Semiconductors
  • Transportation

Respondent program size

For more information, visit our USCIS fee calculator and learn about impacts of the rule for immigration programs.