The fee increase that USCIS had proposed back in May (from $325 to $460) was issued as a final rule Monday, October 24, to take effect 60 days from that publication. Any I-129s filed after the effective date (December 23, 2016) will need to include payment of the higher fee amount.
The final rule references the comments submitted (including NCAE’s Comments) with respect to the I-129 fees, in particular, for H-2A petitions – where employers/agents expressed serious concerns with the processing problems within the agency. The final rule mentions the concerns, but does not offer any solution for resolving them; simply insisting that an increase (of 41.5%, double the overall average increase of 21%) in fee levels is required for CIS to administer its part of the programs.
Final Rule with Fee Schedule changes (157 page rule with i-129 discussion on pp. 28-30 and 94-98)
Federal Register with Fee Schedule Changes
Chart outlining Fee Increases
NCAE Original Comments on Fee Schedule Changes