On November 8, 2019, the Department of Homeland Security announced proposed adjustments to fees for certain immigration benefits and services before the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”). Link to Press Release.
The proposed changes would increase fees for a number of common benefits. These include, among many others:
- N-400: Naturalization applications increase to $1,170.
- I-130: Petition for family members increases to $555.
- I-751: Petition to remove conditions for permanent residents increases to $760.
- I-765: Application for employment authorization increases to $490.
The proposed change would also decrease fees for a few common benefits and services. These include:
- I-140: Petition for foreign workers would decrease to $545.
- I-485: Applications for adjustment of status would decrease to $1,120 (although derivative applications for children would increase from $750 to this new fee of $1,120).
- N-600: Applications for certificate of citizenship would decrease to $1,015.
- Fees for biometric services would decrease to $30.
The proposed fee changes can be viewed in full on page 155 of the notice published at the Federal Register. It is important to note that these changes are currently only proposals; once the proposed changes are officially published in the Federal Register, they become subject to a 30-day period where they are open to public comments.
One particularly noteworthy proposal is the introduction of a fee for asylum applications. This would be the first of its kind in the U.S., as the U.S. has never charged fees for individuals applying for asylum. The proposed fee is $50. It is important to note that this fee is for individuals applying for asylum before USCIS, not for those individuals in immigration proceedings.
Within the federal government, the USCIS is unique in that its operating budget largely comes through fees it collects. This protects those individuals that rely on USCIS when budgetary constraints or government shutdowns threaten other federal agencies.
These proposals go to show how U.S. immigration law is constantly evolving. That is why you need experienced immigration attorneys to guide you through the process. We are those lawyers. We have offices in Orange, Fresno, Riverside, Sacramento, San Bruno, California, as well as Orem and Salt Lake City, Utah, and Boise, Idaho.
If you have any questions regarding these proposed changes or any other immigration matter, please schedule a free in-person consultation at any of our offices.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR(S)
TAYLOR S. KENCK – ATTORNEY
Taylor Kenck is an associate attorney at the Boise office of Wilner & O’Reilly, APLC. For his undergraduate studies, he focused his studies on Spanish, English, and pre-law courses. He was actively involved in leadership in the Latino Student Association, the Spanish Honors Society, and Pre-Law Society. After graduating from his undergraduate studies, Mr. Kenck worked for the Washington State House of Representatives as a Legislative Assistant. He worked closely with state and local government leaders, including many leaders from the immigrant community. In his spare time, Mr. Kenck enjoys spending time with his family, reading (especially Latin American literature), writing, and martial arts.
RICHARD M. WILNER – FOUNDING PARTNER
Richard M. Wilner is a founding member of Wilner & O’Reilly, APLC and is Board Certified by the State Bar of California as a Specialist in Immigration and Nationality Law. He is admitted to practice law in the State of California and before the U.S. District Courts for the Central, Northern and Southern Districts of California, the Northern District of Texas, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and the U.S. Supreme Court.Mr. Wilner has received the coveted Martindale-Hubbell AV Rating, the highest legal and ethical rating that one can receive from one’s peers in the legal community. Similarly, he has been awarded the title of Super Lawyer from 2007 to the present. He is best known for his work in advising Fortune 500 companies, middle and small market businesses, entrepreneurs and foreign nationals of extraordinary ability in athletics, arts, and sciences in the complex area of U.S. Immigration and Nationality Law.