As a reminder, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will be increasing filing fees for several applications and petitions by an average of 10 percent, effective November 23. The filing fees for commonly used employer-sponsored petition forms will increase. The I-129 Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker (used for H-1B, H-2B, O-1 and L-1 petitions, among others) will be increased from $320 to $325. The I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker, which is used for most employer-sponsored green cards, will be raised from $475 to $580.

Also, the application period for the Department of State’s green card lottery for Fiscal Year 2012 (FY 2012) began on October 5, 2010. Interested persons have until 12:00 noon Eastern Daylight Time on November 3, 2010 to apply. Winning applicants must process their green cards between October 1, 2011 and September 30, 2012. For more information, see the Department of State’s Diversity Visa Lottery Program page, the agency’s Diversity Visa Lottery Instructions page, or contact your Ogletree Deakins immigration professional.