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USCIS Unveils New Fee Rules

Updated: Aug 1


The new USCIS Fee Final Rule is expansive. It makes significant adjustments to certain immigration and naturalization forms and application fees charged by USCIS, it removes certain fee exemptions, and it changes fee waiver requirements. The unpublished [576 pages] Final Rule can be viewed in full here; and the Final Fee Rule, once published, can be viewed here.


The following is a brief overview of the fee changes that will most impact my clients. Please see an attorney if you have any questions or need legal advice

FINAL FEE RULE EFFECTIVE DATE

It is noteworthy to mention that the USCIS fees final rule is effective Oct. 2, 2020. This means that any application, petition, or request postmarked on or after this date must include payment of the new, correct fees established by this final rule.

ASYLUM FEE PROVISIONS

The following points summarize the provisions of the USCIS Final Fee Rule that will apply to ALL ASYLUM SEEKERS:

  • $50 for I-589 application fee for asylum

  • $30 per each biometric services appointment

  • $550 per each I-765 Application for Employment Authorization

  • $550 per each I-765 Renewal Application

  • No fee waivers are available to asylum seekers in connection with filing Form I-589 or for Form I-765 with USCIS

  • Asylum applicants who are granted asylum and did NOT pay the $50 application fee must pay $1130 to adjust status per application

  • Alternatively, asylum applicants who are granted asylum and who PAID the $50 application fee must pay $1080 to adjust status per application


VAWA, SIJ, T and U FEE RULES

The following applicants are generally exempt from paying the fee for their primary application I-360 and from the initial EAD application fee. In other words, NO FEES for I-360 and initial I-765 for the following categories of applicants:

  1. SIJ – special immigrant juvenile classification - Form I-360 allows a principal SIJ self-petitioner to request an EAD incident to case approval without submitting a separate Form I-765.

  2. VAWA - self-petition for immigrant classification as an abused spouse or child of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident or an abused parent of a U.S. citizen son or daughter

  3. T Visa - Victim of severe form of trafficking

  4. U Visa - Victim of qualifying criminal activity

Additionally, FEE WAIVER RULES may apply to SIJ, T, U and VAWA applicants for the following applications:

  • Form I-131, Application for Travel Document

  • Form I-212, Application for Permission to Reapply for Admission into the United States After Deportation or Removal

  • Form I-290B, Notice of Appeal or Motion

  • Form I-601, Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility

  • Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization

  • Form N-400, Application for Naturalization

  • Form N-600, Application for Certificate of Citizenship Form

NEW FEE RULES FOR I-485 Adjustment of Status

The USCIS fee for each I-485 Application, regardless of whether it is for an adult or a child, will generally be $1130 per application.

NEW FEE RULES FOR N-400 Application for Naturalization

- $1170 per paper filing per application

- $1160 per electronic filing per application


No matter where you are on the path towards immigration, take careful notice of the Final Rule for USCIS Fees, and make sure to allocate the necessary resources in your budget over time.

Like all my general communications and website articles, this post is for informational purposes only, and should not be viewed as a substitute for legal advice. Please contact an attorney if you need further information or legal guidance.


The announcement comes as USCIS faces significant budget shortfalls and has postponed furloughs of more than 13,000 USCIS employees only until August 31, 2020. USCIS closed its offices and paused services due to the Covid-19 pandemic, prompting a request for $1.2 billion in emergency funds from Congress. However, the new USCIS fee changes, outlined in the Table below, are unrelated to the current budgetary shortfalls. In a statement, the USCIS deputy director for policy said that "these overdue adjustments in fees are necessary to efficiently and fairly administer our nation's lawful immigration system, secure the homeland and protect Americans."


Below is a more thorough list of USCIS fee changes, including the current cost for the request and the new price according to the Final Rule.




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Alina Kaganovsky, Esq. is an attorney licensed to practice law in New York, New Jersey and
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