On October 2, 2020, The Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) will not only increase filing fees but will also change the fee structure of many applications processed by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. The Updated Fee Schedule was published in the Federal Register on August 3, 2020, and is intended to provide USCIS with the financial resources to adequately serve the public. Some of the most drastic changes will affect the most widely used forms.
Citizenship Fee Increase
The N-400, Application for Naturalization will see an increase of between 81-83%, depending on if you file online or in paper. The fee as of October 2, 2020 will be $1160 (online filing) and $1170 (paper filing). The fee is currently $640 (plus an $85 biometric fee) regardless of method of filing.
Adjustment of Status Free Structure
Another notable difference is the elimination of certain application fees being waived when filed concurrently. Currently, when filing for Adjustment of Status (“Green Card Application”), the fees for the Employment Authorization Document (“Work Permit”) and Advance Parole (“Travel Document”) are included in the $1,225 filing fee. While the overall cost of the Adjustment of Status filing fee is decreasing due to the biometric service fee eliminated, the overall cost will increase due to separate fees required for the Work Permit and Travel Document. What one previously received under the $1,225 will now cost $1,130 for the I-485, $550 for the Work Permit, and $590 for the Travel Document, for a grand total of $2,270. This fee does not include the underlying petition upon which the application for adjustment of status is based.
Asylum Application Filing Fee
For the first time ever USCIS will be charging a filing fee for the I-589, Asylum Application. This fee of $50 will be required for both affirmative asylum through the Asylum Office as well as for those applying for Asylum in Immigration Court. The previous arrangement of the Initial Work Permit being free has also been eliminated, as it will now cost $550, with an additional $30 biometric fee for even the initial work permit after one has filed for asylum.
Employment Based Visas
Many popular employment based applications will also see a dramatic increase. O Visas will now require a $705 filing fee, up from the present $460. TN Visas for NAFTA Professionals will now cost $695, up from $460. L-1 Visas will see a sharp rise in fees, $805, up from $460. H-1B fees will also increase from $460 to $555 as of October 2.
Here are some of the fee changes for the most common applications:
|FORM||CURRENT FEE||NEW FEE AS OF 10/2/2020|
|I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card||$455||$415|
|I-129H2B, Named Beneficiaries||$460||$715|
|I-130, Petition for Alien Relative||$535||$550 (online)$560 (paper filing)|
|I-131, Application for Travel Document||$575||$590|
|I-140, Petition for Alien Worker||$700||$555|
|I-290B, Notice of Appeal or Motion||$675||$700|
|I-360, Petition for Amerasian, Widow, or Special Immigrant (VAWA)||$435||$450|
|I-601A, Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver||$630||$960|
|I-765, Application for Employment Authorization||$410||$410 (DACA Only) $550|
|N-400, Application for Naturalization||$320 /$640||$1160 (online) $1170 (paper)|
If you have been waiting to file an application and needed some motivation to do so, now (before October 2, 2020) is the time.
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