• USCIS Filing Fee Changes Coming November 23rd
  • October 12, 2010
  • Law Firm: Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky Popeo P.C. - Boston Office
  • Beginning on November 23, 2010, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will increase filing fees in an effort to close a projected $200 million deficit for 2010-11. According to USCIS, fee revenue in fiscal years 2008 and 2009 was much lower than projected, and the agency claims that fee revenue in fiscal year 2010 remains low. While USCIS did receive appropriations from Congress and made budget cuts of approximately $160 million, this has not bridged the remaining gap between costs and anticipated revenue.

    USCIS will increase the fees for many immigration filings, including most employment-based immigration petitions and applications, and will implement several new fees for applications and services that are currently processed without charge. The new fee schedule will take effect on November 23, 2010, and petitions and applications postmarked on or after November 23rd must include the new fees. These fee increases come just three years after USCIS raised filing fees by 66%.

    The final fee rule will increase application and petition fees by a weighted average of about 10%, although the amount of increase varies widely by application type. In addition, some filing fees will be reduced, and others, including those for naturalization applications, will remain unchanged.

    Premium Processing Fees

    Among the increased fees that petitioning employers will pay is the fee for premium processing service, which will jump from $1000 to $1225 for eligible I-129 and I-140 petitions. No expansion in the types of applications eligible for premium processing is planned at this time.

    Newly Created Fees

    The final fee rule also establishes several new fees, including:

    • Regional center designation under the Immigrant Investor Pilot Program (EB-5) [Fee: $6230]

    • Recovery of the USCIS cost of processing immigrant visas granted by the Department of State through consular processing [Fee: $165]

    Fee Eliminations, Waivers, and Reductions

    Finally, the new fee rule eliminates two citizenship-related fees for certain service members and veterans of the U.S. armed forces, and it expands the availability of fee waivers. The new fee schedule also lowers the fees for certain applications including, among others, Form I-539, Application to Extend or Change Nonimmigrant Status, and Form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiancé(e).

    Fee changes to some of the more common applications and petitions:1

    Form

    Title

    Current

    New

    I-90

    Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card

    $290

    $365

    I-129

    Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker

    320

    325

    I-130

    Petion for Alien Relative

    355

    420

    I-131

    Application for Travel Document

    305

    360

    I-140

    Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker

    475

    580

    I-485

    Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status

    930

    985

    I-526

    Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur

    1,435

    1,500

    I-539

    Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status

    300

    290

    I-765

    Application for Employment Authorization

    340

    380

    I-907

    Request for Premium Processing Service

    1,000

    1,225

    N-400

    Application for Naturalization [No Change]

    595

    595

    Biometrics

    Capturing, Processing and Storing Biometric Information

    80

    85




    Endnotes

    1 Not all fee changes are noted.