By Attorney Farhad Sethna © 2016
In a notice published on Wednesday, May 4, 2016, in the Federal Register (the official publication of the United States Government), the USCIS proposed an increase in filing fees across the board for various applications.
The hardest hit, in terms of sheer percentage of increase is in the alien entrepreneur category: The base fee for Form I-526, Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur, has been increased from $1,500 to $3,675, representing an increase of 145%. The base fee for Form I-924, Application for Regional Center Designation Under the Immigrant Investor Program has been raised from $6,230 to $17,795, an increase of 176%!
Form I-690, Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility is burdened with a fee increase of 258% – from $200 to $715.
On more commonly filed applications, for example, the Form I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card, the fee will increase by 25%, from $365 to $455.
Love has its price, and the price has gone up: The fee for filing a Petition for Alien Relative, Form I-130, has been increased from $420 to $535, an increase of 27%. A Petition for Alien Fiancé(e), Form I-129F sees a much larger increase from $340 to $535, an increase of 57%.
Besides love, the price of hiring foreign workers has also increased. The I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker will now cost $700, up from $580, an increase of 21%.
The Application for Permanent Residence, Form I-485 has increased from $985 to $1,140, an increase of 16%.
All waiver application forms have increased substantially, from $585 to $930, or an increase of 59%.
Fortunately, the biometrics services fee of $85 remains the same.
Finally, the fee to become a US citizen, the Application for Naturalization, form N-400 has increased from $595 to $640, an increase of 8%. Clearly, the USCIS sees increased demand for naturalization in this Presidential election year, and wants to get in on the action.
As always, before you file an application or petition, check the USCIS website for the latest form version, filing fee, and correct filing address.
The USCIS will finalize this fee increase once the comment period concludes. Stay tuned to this blog for further details.
About the author: Attorney Farhad Sethna has practiced law for over 20 years. Since 1996, he has been an adjunct professor of Immigration Law at the University of Akron, School of Law, in Akron, Ohio. He is a frequent speaker at Continuing Legal Education and professional development seminars on various immigration-related topics. His practice is limited to immigration and small business. With offices in Cuyahoga Falls, Akron and Dover, Ohio, Attorney Sethna represents clients in all types of immigration cases. Our number is: (330)-384-8000. Please send your general immigration questions to AttorneySethna@immigration-america.com. We will try to answer as many questions as possible.
This is only general legal information. Please consult a qualified immigration attorney for advice on your specific case.