Nov. 8, 2019, Washington DC, Adhikari Law PLLC. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has posted a 314 pages public notice on Federal Register for public inspection about increase on fees (about 21%) for various types of immigration applications including H-1B ($100), L-1 ($355), TN ($245), changing Premium Processing limit to 15 Business Days in place of current 15 calendar days. Substantial increase in the fees for large L/ H dependent employers, and for naturalization from $640 to $1,170. Fee increases are also for EAD, I-130, EB-5, I-290B, J-1 Waiver filing fees and many other applications. Fee increase also for DACA ($275), $50 fee and also EAD fee for affirmative asylum.
The Proposed Rule was initially posted on November 14, 2019 (pre-published on Nov 8th) with an invitation for written comments or before December 16, 2019 but due to overwhelming response comment period was reopened by DHS on December 30, 2019 to February 10, 2020. Provide your comment by following the link here.
You must submit comments, identified as DHS Docket No. USCIS–2019–0010, through one of the following methods: • Federal eRulemaking Portal (preferred): http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the website instructions for
submitting comments; or by Mail to
Samantha Deshommes, Chief, Regulatory Coordination Division,
Office of Policy and Strategy, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Department of Homeland Security,
20 Massachusetts Avenue NW,
Washington, DC 20529–2140
To ensure proper handling, please reference DHS Docket No. USCIS–2019–0010 in your correspondence. Mail must be postmarked by the comment submission deadline.
|Type of Fee or type of the Form||Current fee||Proposed fee||Fee Increase||Percentage Increase|
|H-1B filing fee||460||560||100||22%|
|H-1B & L-1 fee (Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016 (Public Law 114-113),||Only once||4000 or 4500 for each extension too||by reinterpreting law!||100% or more|
|E-1 or E-2 filing fee||460||705||245||53%|
|P filing fee||460||705||245||53%|
|Q filing fee||460||705||245||53%|
|H-3 filing fee||460||705||245||53%|
|O filing fee||460||715||255||55%|
|H-2A filing fee||460||860 for named employee|
425 unnamed bene’y petition
|+400; and |
|+87% or -8%|
|H-2B filing fee||460|| 725 for named employee|
395 unnamed bene’y petition
| +265; and |
|R filing fee||460||705||245||53%|
|TN filing fee||460||705||245||53%|
|Adjustment of Status to Legal Permanent Resident (LPR, Green Card), I-485 (and I-131 and I-765)||1225 (1140+85)||2195||970||79%|
|Application for Naturalization to become U.S. Citizen||640||1170||530||83%|
|Application to remove condition on green card (typically for U.S. citizen spouse, or foreign investor)||595||760||165||28%|
|Asylum EAD application||0||490||490|
|N-470 Application to Preserve Residence for Naturalization Purposes (typically employees of U.S. companies abroad)||355||1600||1245||266%|
|Application to file declaration of intent to become U.S. citizen||270||1320||1050||389%|
|Request for a Hearing on a Decision in Naturalization Proceedings||700||1755||1055||151%|
|Petition for Qualifying family member of a U-1 victim of crimes||230||1515||1285||559%|
|I-131A Application for Carrier Documentation (when Green Card is lost, stolen or destroyed)||575||1010||435||76%|
The fee increases are unlikely to reduce processing times at the agency because USCIS states in the rule that it will not change the policies that have created the longer delays. According to American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) the lack of money does not seem to be the problem: The average USCIS case processing time increased by 91% between FY 2014 and FY 2018, at the same time the agency’s budget rose by 30%. Processing times became longer at the agency even when the number of new cases dropped by over one million between FY 2017 and FY 2018.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce finds that the fee increase will create further uncertainty and disruption in their workforces, and the businesses view these substantial new program costs with no perceived improvements for the end-users of these programs as nothing more than a new tax on businesses that rely upon immigrant workers to meet their workforce needs.
AILA and the American Immigration Council has submitted a comment to proposed USCIS fee increases and find that the fee increases block law-abiding noncitizens on their path to naturalization and other immigration benefits, and this will harm U.S. economy by making it cost-prohibitive for U.S. businesses to hire necessary workers.
(Last updated Feb 5, 2020)
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