On 31st July 2020, USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) declared its commitment to execute another standard rule to implement some significant changes to its present immigration filing fees and some other processes. Most of the current immigration and naturalization filing fees were increased while a couple of others were decreased. USCIS will release the new structures 30 days before the rule taking effect, by 2nd September 2020.
The highlights of form filing and fee changes, the last rule will expand the Premium Processing timeline from 15 schedule days to 15 business days, thereby increasing processing to roughly three weeks. Of note, in its last guideline, USCIS has reserved the authority to consequently increase the Premium Process fee yearly, previous the standard notification and remark rulemaking technique, given the expense doesn’t exceed the guidance proposed by the Consumer Price Index.
Further, with an effort to boost electronic filings of specific applications accessible web-based, including requests to reestablish a permanent resident card (Green Card) and naturalization applications, USCIS will offer a $10 documenting fee reduction for applications submitted on the web.
Changes Going to be Implement Under the New Rule
The new rule will significantly impact more on employment-based nonimmigrant visa classifications as mentioned below.
Employment-Based Nonimmigrant Filings
The last rule isolates fees for each visa grouping at present filed on Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker, with a lopsided impact on some visa classifications, for example, the L-1 visa classification, which will rise by 75%. To encourage these changes, USCIS will distribute new structures for the following visa classes: CW-1, E, TN, H-1B, H-1B1, H-2A, and H-2B. USCIS will give an effortlessness time of as long as 60 days during which time both the past and new forms of the updated forms will be allowed, provided that the new fees go with the structure. Currently, $4,000 and $4,500 fees for H-1B and L-1 petitions, individually, are required only for initial filings and change of employer demands.
USCIS Filing Fees Structure
The below table highlights the filing fee increase for the most common types of USCIS filings
|Visa Type||Present Fee||New Fee
|Amount Difference||Percent Change|
|E-1, E-2 and TN||$460||$695||$235||51%|
|H-2A (Named Beneficiaries)||$460||$850||$390||85%|
|H2B (Named Beneficiaries)||$460||$715||$255||55%|
|H2A (Unnamed Beneficiaries)||$460||$415||-$45||-10%|
|H2B (Unnamed Beneficiaries)||$460||$385||-$75||-16%|
Immigrant Visa and Adjustment of Status Applications
Currently, kids under 14 benefit from a reduced adjustment of status fee of $750, in case if they applied with their parent. This advantage will stop to exist under the new rule, requiring these youthful candidates to pay the new expense of $1,130.
Presently, the adjustment of status (Green Card) application fee is $1,225, which includes the Employment Authorization Document (EAD), Advanced Parole (AP) applications, and Biometrics Fee. Under the new rule, the total fee for an adjustment of status application package is more than doubles to $2,270, and candidates are required to pay fees of $550 and $590. Mostly the fees will increase for employment-based process and the fee for employment-based immigrant visa petitions will decrease from $700 to $555.
Changes for Biometric Fee
Under the new fee rule implementing in October, the fees will rise by an average of 20%, which is comparable to its last fee plan update of 21% in December 2016. As a prevalently fee-funded government organization, USCIS claims that absent the fee increment, the agency would encounter a $1 billion annual subsidizing insufficiency.
Also, there will be a change to the present $85 biometric service fee for all applications, which include I-539 Application to Extend or Change Status, N-400 Application for Naturalization, and I-485 Adjustment of Status.
USCIS can’t change the fee for two cases, a separate $30 biometric fee will be applicable. The two case types are TPS (Temporary Protected Status) requests and Executive Office of Immigration Review appeals, benefit requests, and motions.