U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is a fee-based government agency with 97% of its budget covered by filing fees. As a result of its biennial fee review, USCIS has concluded that without an increase in filing fees, which were last adjusted in December 2016, the agency would have a budget shortfall of $1 billion per year.
The table below reflects the filing fee changes that will take effect on October 2, 2020. Of particular note are the following changes:
- Nonimmigrant filings: In addition to new (forthcoming) I-129 forms for the various non-immigrant visa types, there will be a different filing fee for different visa types (H, L, O, TN, etc.).
- Adjustment of Status: The new fee schedule de-bundles interim benefits. Previously, an applicant for Adjustment of Status (Form I-485) who is also applying for Employment Authorization (I-765) and Advance Parole travel authorization (I-131) paid one fee of $1,140 for all three applications. Now, applicants will be required to pay a separate fee for each of the three applications of $1,130, $550, and $590, respectively, which will total $2,270.
- Premium Processing: USCIS also changed the premium processing timeframe from 15 calendar days to 15 business days. The premium processing filing fee remains at $1,440 as set on October 31, 2019.
- Secure documentation: USCIS will send secure identification documents, such as green cards or Employment Authorization Documents (EADs), only to the applicant and he/she will be required to sign for the document. If the attorney is selected as the recipient, the attorney will be required to provide identification and sign for receipt of the document. Applicants will need to complete PS Form 3801 if they want to designate another person to sign for delivery on their behalf.
|Immigration Benefit Request||Pre October 2nd Filing Fee||Post October 2nd Filing Fee|
For additional details on the filing fee changes, see the DHS final rule.