Published on August 3, 2020
U.S. Customs and Immigration Services (USCIS) has issued a final rule to increase fees to cover operational costs, in light of the agency’s budget shortfall of more than $1 billion. Filing fees for certain applications will be adjusted on October 2, 2020, resulting in an average increase of 20%.
Not all changes include an increase in fees, however. For example, the filing fees for certain online applications would be reduced by $10 in order to encourage filing online.
Some of the noteworthy fee changes under the rule include:
- The filing fee for the Form N-400 Application for Naturalization will substantially increase from $640 to $1,170 (or $1,160 for electronic filings, which is more than an 80% increase).
- The filing fee for Form I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status will be reduced from $1,140 to $1,120. However, although the base I-485 application fee will be lowered, it will no longer include the fee for Form I-765 (employment) and Form I-131 (advance parole). Adjustment applicants who wish to file for those benefits must submit separate payments with those ancillary applications. And so, whereas currently an adjustment applicant pays $1,140 for adjustment, employment, and advance parole, under the proposal the same applicant would pay almost double: $1,120 for adjustment, $545 for employment, and $585 for advance parole, resulting in fees of $2,250, a 97% net hike of $1,110.
- The filing fee for Form I-129 Application for Nonimmigrant Worker will increase from a single fee of $460, to a higher fee depending on the visa classification sought, including H-1B ($560), O-1 ($715), E and TN ($705), and L-1 ($815).
Aside from fee and form changes, USCIS will also change the premium processing timeframe from 10-15 calendar days to 15 business days. In addition, USCIS will implement Secure Confirmation Restricted Delivery as the sole method for delivery of secure documents (such as green cards, EADs, and advance parole authorizations). Finally, the new rule will limit fee waivers only to VAWA self-petitioners, T and U nonimmigrants, certain battered spouses and children, and TPS applicants, with extremely limited exceptions. Also, fee waivers will no longer be available for requests for Forms I-765 and I-539.
We recommend filing immigration petitions and applications before these fee increases will take effect, especially if you are applying for naturalization. Please contact the Immigration Group at Ryan Swanson if you need assistance.
Amy Royalty can be reached at [email protected]
Jen Chen can be reached at [email protected].
Marsha Mavunkel can be reached at [email protected].
Janet Cheetham can be reached at [email protected].
Cody Nunn can be reached at [email protected].
Joel Paget can be reached at [email protected].
This message has been released by the Immigration Group at Ryan, Swanson & Cleveland, PLLC to advise of recent developments in the law. Because each situation is different, this information is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended to provide legal advice on any specific facts and circumstances. Ryan, Swanson & Cleveland, PLLC is a full-service law firm located in Seattle, Washington.