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This Week in Immigration News: Texas Service Center Will Begin Processing Certain Cap-Exempt H-1B Petitions, SEVP Fee Increase

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It is that time of the week again! In this post, we bring you the latest immigration news from USCIS.

Texas Service Center Will Begin Processing Certain Cap-Exempt H-1B Petitions

On May 20, 2019, USCIS announced that the Texas Service Center will begin processing certain cap-exempt H-1B petitions filed on Form I-129 Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker.

What types of petitions may be processed by the TSC?

Cap-exempt petitions requesting:

  • A change in previously approved employment;
  • A change of employer;
  • Concurrent employment;
  • Amendments;
  • A continuation of previously approved employment without change with the same employer;
  • A change of status to H-1B; or Notification to a U.S. Consulate or inspection facility (port of entry or pre-flight inspection).

Applicants must continue to refer to the direct filing address chart to determine where the I-129 Form should be filed. The workload for cap-exempt petitions will be distributed between the Texas Service Center, California Service Center, Vermont Service Center, and Nebraska Service Center to increase efficiency and prevent processing delays.

If your case is transferred, you will receive a transfer notice in the mail.

Increase in Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) Fees

On May 22, 2019, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced an increase in SEVP fees for international students and exchange visitors beginning June 24, 2019. These fees must be paid when the international student or exchange visitor pays the I-901 SEVIS fee to the U.S. Department of State prior to applying for a student or exchange visitor visa.

Fee increases include:

  • The I-901 SEVIS Fee for F and M international students will increase from $200 to $350.
  • DHS will maintain the $35 I-901 SEVIS Fee for J exchange visitors in the au pair, camp counselor, and summer work travel program participant categories, but increase the full I-901 SEVIS Fee for other J exchange visitors from $180 to $220.
  • The SEVP school certification petition fee for initial certification will increase from $1,700 to $3,000.

New fees include:

  • A $1,250 fee for SEVP-certified schools filing a petition for recertification.
  • A $675 fee when schools file the Form I-290B, “Notice of Appeal or Motion.”
  • DHS will maintain the $655 fee for an initial school site visit but will also charge this fee when a SEVP-certified school changes its physical location or adds a new physical location or campus to its Form I-17, “Petition for Approval of School for Attendance by Nonimmigrant Student.”

For more information, visit www.ICE.gov/SEVP.