If you have been submitting your filing fees for Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status, Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, or Form I-824, Application for Action on an Approved Application or Petition together with an H-1B or H-1B1 Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, you will have to stop after March 31, 2022.
Starting April 1, 2022 USCIS will not accept single, combined joint filing fees for certain immigration form submissions. Going forward, each form must be filed with its own fee payment, else USCIS will reject all the applications tied up with that combined fee package.
Exception To The Joint Filing Fees Rule
The filing fee for Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service, can still be combined with Form I-129, if filing together. It can be filed together if the petitions are being filed concurrently when filing Form I-129 requesting H-1B classification.
USCIS’ Separate Fee Filing System Explained
Making filing fee payments in one shot was a convenient process until now. However, as USCIS is transitioning to electronic processing for all requests pertaining to immigrant benefits, this aspect of the immigration journey will terminate after April 1, 2022. During this process transitioning to the electronic systems, USCIS will be using multiple systems for receipts as well as for processing different immigration benefit requests. Therefore, in the case of H-1B, H-1B1 petitions and all its related applications, the filing as well as the processing of fees will be separated. They will now be processed via different systems and therefore, will require individual payments for each.
Because H-1B and H-1B1 petitions and related applications are not all processed in the same system, USCIS requires a separate payment instrument for each of these forms.
This is going to add one more step in the processing of non-immigrant visas across US consulates and at USCIS. USCIS acknowledges that using multiple checks or payments for H-1B and H-1B1 petitions and related applications is more burdensome than using one payment. But the advantages of electronic processing will largely impact petitioners in a positive manner. The filing process will become further streamlined and reduce the process of doing it manually.
Please consult with your immigration lawyer before filing any of your petitions. It is important to know the correct protocols or you risk having your petitions rejected completely.