By Farhad Sethna, Attorney ©2016
USCIS just announced (October 24, 2016) that it will increase filing fees across the board for most applications effective December 23, 2016. Applications received or postmarked on or after this date will have to include the new filing fees. In some cases, the increase is nominal. In others, the increase is substantial. The USCIS claims a weighed average increase of 21% across the board. For example, some of the fees for the most commonly filed immigration applications have increased as follows:
Application (and corresponding fee increase)
I-129- Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker – from $325.00 – to – $460.00
I-129F-Petition for Alien Fiancé – from $340.00 – to – $535.00
I-130-Petition for Alien Relative – from $420.00 – to – $535.00
I-131-Application for Travel Document – from $360.00 – to – $575.00
I-485-Application for Adjustment of Status – from $985.00 – to – $1,140.00
I-751-Petition to Remove Conditions to LPR – from $505.00 – to – $595.00
I-765-Application for Employment Authorization – from $380.00 – to – $410.00
N-400-Application for Naturalization* – from $595.00 – to – $640.00
N-600-Application for Certificate of Citizenship – from $600.00 – to – $1,170.00
I-601A-Application for Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver – from $585.00 – to – $630.00
I-212-Permission to Reapply for Admission to
the U.S. After Deportation (Waiver) – from $585.00 – to – $930.00
Biometrics (digital photo and fingerprints for background checks) – remains unchanged at $ 85.
Please stay tuned for any further instructions by USCIS on these matters.
It seems a travesty for USCIS to charge additional fees when the quality and timeliness of the adjudications is so dismal.
*Note that the USCIS has a two-tier fee for the N-400, charging a reduced fee ($ 320), by filing the new form I-942 for applicants whose income is between 150-200 % of the Federal Poverty Income Guidelines. This represents additional work for agencies which assist low income or indigent applicants with their naturalization petitions.
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 New Philadelphia, 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.