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USCIS Aims to Increase Fees on Majority of USCIS Forms[i]

 

“Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys.” ~ P. J. O’Rourke

 

Despite the folly of giving your money to the government, you will soon be handing over even more.  This month the Department of Homeland Security announced a proposed rule to “adjust” (a.k.a increase) the filing fees on a number of commonly used USCIS forms. The list of forms affected is quite extensive and the increases will affect almost all employment-based forms, a number of family-based forms, and the Naturalization related forms.

 

The proposed increases are allegedly due to a potential $560 million annual shortfall facing USCIS. Since the majority of USCIS’ funding comes from filing fees, it’s no surprise that they are moving to increase them.

 

Since there doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason to which fees were increased, we’ve laid out the potential changes to some of the most popular forms.

 

Employment Based Forms

 

Form Type Current Fee Proposed Fee Increase
I-129Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker $325 $460 $135
I-131Application for Advance Parole (Travel Permission) $360 $575 $215
I-140Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker $580 $700 $120
I-539Application to Extend / Change Nonimmigrant Status $290 $370 $80
I-765Application for Employment Authorization (EAD) $380 $410 $30
I-485Application to Register/ Adjust Status $985 $1140 $155

 

Family Based Forms

 

Form Type Current Fee Proposed Fee Increase
I-130Petition for Alien Relative(See above I-485, I-765, I-131) $420 $535 $115
I-824 Application for Action on an Approved Application $405 $465 $60
I-129FFiancé Visa $340 $535 $195
I-751 Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence $505 $595 $90
I-601 Waiver Form (See also I-191, I-192, I-193, I-212, I-602, I-612) $585 $930 $345

 

Naturalization

 

Form Type Current Fee Proposed Fee Increase
N-400Application for Naturalization $595 $640 $45
N-336 Request a Hearing on a Decision in Naturalization Proceedings $650 $700 $50
N-470 Application to Preserve Residence for Naturalization Purposes $330 $355 $25
N-600/N-600KApplication for Certificate of Citizenship $600 $1,170 $570

 

Replacement Forms

 

Form Type Current Fee Proposed Fee Increase
I-90 Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card $365 $455 $90
I-102Application for Replacement/Initial Nonimmigrant Arrival-Departure Document $330 $445 $115
N-565 Application for Replacement Naturalization/Citizenship Document $345 $555 $210

Despite all of these changes, some fees will thankfully remain the same:

  • Biometrics services fees remain $85
  • Premium Processing fee remains $1,225
  • Interim filings, (concurrently filed Forms I-131 and I-765 with Form I-485) will continue to pay only the I-485 fee (although that is proposed to increase to $1140)
  • Refugee Travel Documents fee remains $105 for children under 16 and $135 for adults

 

We presume the proposed fee increases will ultimately be approved and go into effect this fall.  So if you need to or have been contemplating filing an immigration process, NOW is the time to get the process started to avoid the pesky fee increases.

 

Contact your immigration counsel or give us a call. If we are not your immigration counsel we would love the opportunity to show you why we should be!

 

[i] This Post was authored by Carolyn Harlamert (Summer Associate) and edited by Debra J.C. Dowd, Esq.