September 20, 2020

Volume X, Number 264

September 18, 2020

Subscribe to Latest Legal News and Analysis

USCIS to Significantly Increase Filing Fees

On August 3, 2020, USCIS issued a Final Rule, which will increase many USCIS filing fees. The Rule includes dramatic fee increases for many common petitions and applications, though some filing fees will be reduced. The new fees will be effective as of October 3, 2020. The increases are at least partially driven by well-publicized funding shortages at USCIS due to a reduction in the number of filings of petitions and applications. The higher fees will increase funding for the agency at the expense of individuals and companies that are filing applications and petitions in an unsettled immigration environment.

While the weighted average of the fee increases is just over 20%, fees for some of the most common petitions and applications will increase significantly. Form I-129, the form used to sponsor an employment visa in most visa classifications, has different fees depending on the visa classification being requested.

Impactfully, the overall cost for most Adjustment of Status (AOS) application filings will nearly double. USCIS will no longer bundle the AOS filing fee with the Employment Authorization Document (EAD) and Advance Parole (AP)/Travel Document filing fees. As a result, instead of a filing fee of $1,225 for all three applications as a bundle, the fees for an initial filing of an AOS, plus EAD and AP filing fees, will total $2,270 (an increase of just over 85%).

Filing Fee Changes

Below are the filing fee changes for petitions and applications. The full list of fee changes can be found in the Final Rule, starting on Page 13.

On August 3, 2020, USCIS issued a Final Rule, which will increase many USCIS filing fees. The Rule includes dramatic fee increases for many common petitions and applications, though some filing fees will be reduced. The new fees will be effective as of October 3, 2020. The increases are at least partially driven by well-publicized funding shortages at USCIS due to a reduction in the number of filings of petitions and applications. The higher fees will increase funding for the agency at the expense of individuals and companies that are filing applications and petitions in an unsettled immigration environment.

While the weighted average of the fee increases is just over 20%, fees for some of the most common petitions and applications will increase significantly. Form I-129, the form used to sponsor an employment visa in most visa classifications, has different fees depending on the visa classification being requested.

Impactfully, the overall cost for most Adjustment of Status (AOS) application filings will nearly double. USCIS will no longer bundle the AOS filing fee with the Employment Authorization Document (EAD) and Advance Parole (AP)/Travel Document filing fees. As a result, instead of a filing fee of $1,225 for all three applications as a bundle, the fees for an initial filing of an AOS, plus EAD and AP filing fees, will total $2,270 (an increase of just over 85%).

Immigration Benefit Request

Current Fee

Final Fee

Change ($)

Change (%)

I-90 Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card

$455

$415

($40)

-9 percent

I-129 (TN, E and other classifications)

$460

$695

$235

51 percent

I-129 (H-1B)

$460

$555

$95

21 percent

I-129 (L-1)

$460

$805

$345

75 percent

I-129 (O-1, O-2)

$460

$705

$245

53 percent

I-130 Petition for Alien Relative

$535

$560

$25

5 percent

I-131 Application for Travel Document

$575

$590

$15

3 percent

I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker

$700

$555

($145)

-21 percent

I-290B Notice of Appeal or Motion

$675

$700

$25

4 percent

I-485 Application for Adjustment of Status

$1,140

$1,130

($10)

-1 percent*

I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status

$370

$400

$30

8 percent

I-589 Application for Asylum / Withholding of Removal

$0

$50

$50

N/A

I-612 Application for Waiver of Foreign Residence Requirement

$930

$515

($415)

-45 percent

I-751 Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence

$595

$760

$165

28 percent

I-765 Application for Employment Authorization

$410

$550

$140

34 percent

N-400 Application for Naturalization

$640

$1,170

$530

83 percent

Biometric Fee

$85

$30

($55)

-65 percent

 

Adverse Impact on Low-Income Applicants

The Final Rule also adds, for the first time, a filing fee for an Asylum application and makes the process for applying for a fee waiver more difficult. USCIS will issue a revised Form I-912, Request for Fee Waiver, which will be more burdensome to complete and will likely limit the number of low-income individuals who qualify for a fee waiver.

USCIS to Issue Revised Versions of Forms

In connection to this Final Rule, USCIS will publish revised versions of a number of common forms within 30 days, including Form I-129, Form I-131, Form I-765, Form I-589, Form I-600, and as mentioned above, Form I-912.

 

©1994-2020 Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C. All Rights Reserved.National Law Review, Volume X, Number 217

TRENDING LEGAL ANALYSIS


About this Author

John Quill Immigration Attorney Mintz Levin
Member / Chair, Immigration Practice

John’s practice encompasses all aspects of immigration and nationality law. John draws on over two decades of experience to help companies and their employees obtain nonimmigrant visas, including B, E, H, J, L, O, and TN visas. He also handles applications for PERM labor certification; extraordinary ability, outstanding researcher, and national interest waiver petitions; adjustment of status procedures; consular processing; and naturalization. John has distinguished himself in the use of legal operations and technology to streamline practices and develop innovative solutions to challenging...

617.348.4401
Angel Feng, Immigration Attorney, Mintz Levin, Visa Petitions Lawyer, Green Card, Immigration EB-5 Financing
Special Counsel

Angel focuses her practice on business immigration matters and related compliance issues. She works with employers in designing and defining corporate immigration programs and policies, and in structuring short and long-term visa strategies for management, professional and specialized skill foreign employees.  She also advises employers on discipline, suspension and/or termination of visa sponsored employees and litigation prevention measures; and counsels clients on employment eligibility verification, I-9, and E-verify compliance and employer defense in ICE audits, and worksite investigations.    

Angel’s expertise includes developing visa strategies during M&A transactions (reorganizations, mergers, acquisitions, divestments, etc.) and minimizing a transaction’s impact on key employees.

She has extensive experience in obtaining non-immigrant work visas and employment-based immigrant visas, including H-1B, L-1A, L-1B, E-3, TN, P-1, O-1, E-1, E-2, PERM, EB-1, EB-2, and EB-3 categories.

As a regular contributor to Mintz’s immigration blog, Angel often provides employers with insight on immigration-related developments that may affect their businesses and offers tips for responding to government agency activities, such as Department of Homeland Security worksite visits and inspections.

Prior to joining Mintz, Angel was senior counsel at a law firm in New York where she advised on corporate immigration strategies. She has also served as an Assistant Vice President & Counsel at Fortune 100 financial company where she oversaw all immigration and employment matters. Angel has practiced as an attorney at various national and regional law firms, as well as non-profits, where she has provided immigration and employment law counseling as well as employment litigation representation.

Angel has been recognized by The Legal 500 United States in the area of Employment: Immigration as a “Next Generation Lawyer” and is an active member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association and several other professional organizations. She is a director and a past president of the Connecticut Asian Pacific American Bar Association and has served on the Connecticut Bar Association’s diversity committee, on the board of the Connecticut Hispanic Bar Association, and on the task force of the Asian Pacific American Coalition.

She is fluent in Mandarin, Spanish, and Taiwanese.

617.348.1866