The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) had proposed to increase the filing fees for applications and petitions filed with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) in May of this year. According to DHS, the fee increase is to alleviate their projected annual shortfall of about $550 million that reflects the costs of processing immigration petitions and applications as well as to provide additional funding for refugee and citizenship programs and for the improvement of interagency immigration databases.
The last time USCIS adjusted its filing fee schedule was in November 2010. On December 23rd 2016, this agency that aspires to be fully self-funded will increase its filing fees for immigration and naturalization benefit requests. Without further ado below is the list of the immigration forms, most applicable to our readers, listing the old fee, new fee and the percentage of the change.
|Application/Petition||Current Fee||New Fee (as of 12/31/16)||% of change||Comments|
|I-129 – H, L, E, O, P, TN petitions.||$325||$460||42%||Where applicable, the training fee, fraud fee, dependent employer’s fee and premium processing fee remains unchanged.|
|I-539 Application to extend/change status||$290||$370||28%||This is most commonly used for dependents of those employees petitioned under form I-129 above.|
|I-140 employment based priority petition||$580||$700||21%||The premium processing fee remains unchanged.|
|I-485 Application to Adjust status||$985||$1,140||16%||This fee includes EAD & Advance Parole fees. The biometrics fee of $85 remains the same.|
|I-765 Application for Employment Authorization (EAD)||$380||$410||8%||This new fee is also applicable to EAD eligible dependents of employees petitioned under form I-129.|
|I-131 Application for Travel Permit||$360||$575||60%||The biometrics fee of $85 remains the same.|
|I-130 Family based priority petition||$420||$535||27%||The new I-485 fee listed above will be applicable when filing concurrently after Dec. 23rd.|
|N-400 Naturalization||$595||$640||8%||The biometrics fee of $85 remains the same.|
Considering that the immigration service’s lengthy processing times and this upcoming fee increase we are recommending our clients file all eligible extensions or petitions prior to December 23rd. As always our team is committed to providing you excellent service and will be available to discuss with you the employees that may be eligible for immigration sponsorship.