USCIS INCREASING FILING FEES!!
As of August 3, 2020, USCIS provided a final rule that will increase filing fees starting on October 2, 2020. This final rule will include not only an increase in filing fees by an average of 20%, but also will change premium processing time limits, limit the number of beneficiaries on certain forms, and update quite a few forms. The following explains some of these changes in more detail.
Some fees that will be changed by this final rule include: work authorization (Form I-765) going from $410 to $550, family petitions (Form I-130) going from $535 to $550 (if filed online) and $560 (if filing by mail), applications for travel documents (Form I-131) will increase from $575 to $590, and naturalization (Form N-400) will increase exponentially from $640 to $1,160 (if filing online) and $1,170 (if filing by mail) more than an 80% increase! Adjustment of status cases (Form I-485) will also be affected in a slightly different way. Although it’s filing fee is going down from $1,140 to $1,130, applicants will need to keep in mind that they will also have to pay the separate fees for Form I-765 and Form I-130 that is filed in connection with the I-485, which doubles the total cost of the adjustment process to $2,270. Another important fee change will be to the petition for a nonimmigrant worker (Form I-129). Before, the Form I-129 had just one fee, $460, for all categories, but now the I-129 will be divided into several new forms depending on the visa category you are applying for. For example, the I-129 for an H1B will be increased to $555, H2B petitions will increase to $715, and O visa petitions will increase to $705.
Not only is Form I-129 being split up to multiple forms separated by categories, but USCIS will also be limiting the number of beneficiaries that can be added to the form. USCIS is now only allowing 25 beneficiaries per petition. So, if any petitioner/company will have more than 25 beneficiaries they will need to split them up into 2 or maybe even 3 separate petitions, which takes the total cost of applying through the roof.
Premium processing has also been affected by this final rule. Before, USCIS would process applications with premium processing within 15 calendar days, but after the final rule USCIS will have 15 business days. Although the fee has not been said to increase from $1,440, USCIS can automatically increase the premium processing fee once a year without notice if it is in accordance with certain guidelines, but as far as changes coming in October the premium processing fee will not change.
In order to avoid having to pay the fee increase it is recommended to get all necessary forms filed as soon as possible and submitted before October 2, 2020. Any application postmarked after that date with previous filing fee amounts will not be accepted by USCIS. Starting that date USCIS will also update the forms for I-129, I-765, I-600/I-600A, and I-912, so make sure that you are filing your application on the correct version of the form and with the correct fees in order to avoid filing delays and possible rejections.
Our office will continue to keep you up to date on any changes in immigration. If you would like to read more about the final rule go to https://www.uscis.gov/news/news-releases/uscis-adjusts-fees-to-help-meet-operational-needs. Please make sure to check out our other blogs and don’t forget to check out and subscribe to our YouTube channel HERE where we post videos constantly!