At the end of July, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced the adjustment of certain fees for the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services – USCIS.

Because of the pandemic and the suspension of customer service at the agency’s offices in March, USCIS revenues fell significantly.

Unlike other government agencies, USCIS relies mainly on immigration procedures, which are equivalent to approximately 97% of its income.

For this reason, in May and June, the agency requested $1,2 billion for emergency financing due to the drastic decrease in applications for Green Card and visas.

Another option considered then was the furloughing of two-thirds of USCIS personnel.

About 13,400 employees would be sent home if the budget injection was not approved by Congress.

Eventually, such licensing was postponed, as according to agency estimates the fiscal year would not end in the red, as was initially believed.

Even so, by the end of July USCIS announced an average 20% increase in the fees of some of its services.

The decision was made because the current fees did not allow to cover the operational costs of the agency, which could cause a lack of funds equivalent to $1 billion per year.

Joseph Edlow, USCIS Deputy Director of Policy, stated that these adjustments pending for a long time are necessary to ensure the administration of the immigration system its efficient operation, and thus provide its services to those who need them.

The last time USCIS adjusted its fees was in December 2016, with an average increase of 21%.

The final document released by DHS also removes some fee waivers but includes new costs for asylum seekers.

In addition to regulating the new rates, the submitting for online forms is also being promoted since a reduction of $10 will apply. The form which fee varied the most variation is I-881, Application for Suspension of Deportation or Special Rule Cancellation of Removal, with a 535% increase.

 

These are some of the fee changes:

 

Immigration Benefit RequestCurrent FeeFinal FeePorcentage Change
I-90 Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card (online filing)$455$405-11%
I-129 Petition for a Nonimmigrant worker$460N/AN/A
I-130 Petition for Alien Relative (online filing)$535$5503%
I-130 Petition for Alien Relative (paper filing)$535$5605%
I-131 Application for Travel Document$575$5903%
I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker$700$555-21%
I-192 Application for Advance Permission to Enter as Nonimmigrant (CBP)$585$1,400139%
I-192 Application for Advance Permission to Enter as Nonimmigrant (USCIS)$93051%
I-212 Application for Permission to Reapply for Admission into the U.S. After Deportation or Removal$930$1,05013%
I-290B Notice of Appeal or Motion$675$7004%
I-360 Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant$435$4503%
I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjustment of Status$1,140$1,130-1%
I-601 Application for Waiver of Ground of Excludability$930$1,0109%
I-765 Application for Employment Authorization (Non-DACA)$410$55034%
I-881 Application for Suspension of Deportation or Special Rule Cancellation of Removal$285$1,810535%
N-400 Application for Naturalization (online filing)$640$1,16081%
N-400 Application for Naturalization (paper filing)$640$1,17083%
$320266%
Biometric Services (Non- DACA)$85$30-65%
Biometric Services (DACA only)$85$850%

These new fees will apply from October 2, 2020.

 

The full document can be found here. The full list of Immigration Benefit Request Fees is on pages 13-17.

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Hector E. Quiroga
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