The Department of Homeland Security’s branch responsible for adjudicating immigration benefits, United States Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) has proposed a final rule increasing fees for immigration benefits. USCIS’s final rule for fee increases will be effective on October 20, 2020. In this post, I will discuss the most notable fee increases, and I urge our potential new clients to apply for benefits as soon as possible to avoid these fee changes.
USCIS has argued that its revenues have dropped because of a decrease in applications. USCIS is funded by fees collected from application fees. USCIS argues that the decrease in fees is due to the Corona Virus pandemic. Immigrant rights groups have argued that the increase in fees are due to the Administration’s own policies which limit immigration to the United States. USCIS has also asked for a 1.2 billion dollars bailout from Congress to keep operating without furloughs.
There are several changes to the fee schedule. Notably, however, some fees have been decreased. The following are some of the changes:
I-130 (Petition for Alien Relatives) filed online fee increased to $550, an increase of $15
I-130 (Petition for Alien Relatives) filed by paper fee increased to $560, an increase of $25
I-140 (Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker) decreased to $555, a decrease of $145
I-485 (Application to Register Permanent Residence) decreased to $1,130, a decrease of $10
I-765 (Application for Employment Authorization Non-DACA) increased to $550, an increase of $140
N-400 (Application for Naturalization online filing) increased to $1,160 an increase of $520
N-400 (Application for Naturalization paper filing) increased to $1,170 an increase of $530
The answer to the question is simple, many people may not be able to afford to apply for immigration benefits. Immigrant rights groups argue that these fee increases would stop many immigrants from naturalizing and applying for permanent residence. I agree with this argument.
The other main takeaway from this increase is immigrants should apply for these benefits before October 2, 2020. Any application postmarked before October 2, 2020, will fall under the old rule. I am sure that these fee increases will be challenged in court because they are extremely prohibitive. I will keep you updated.
As always, you can call us at 1(888)963-7326 to schedule a strategy session with Attorney Ahmad Yakzan to file on time and avoid these increases. We do offer to finance both government and legal fees. To learn more about our legal financing options, please visit this link