U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) has published a proposed rule to significantly increase immigration filing fees. The new fees, which would likely be implemented on July 5, 2016, would raise fees for most employment-based petitions and applications by an average of 21%, though some filings would be raised even higher.
The key employment-based petitions and applications that will see fee increases are as follows:
- Petitions filed on behalf of non-immigrant workers, such as H-1B, L-1, O-1, E-2, P-1, TN, etc. (Form I-129): increase from $325 to $460.
- Immigrant petitions filed on behalf of alien relatives (Form I-130): increase from $420 to $535.
- Fiance(e) petitions (Form I-129F): increase from $340 to $535.
- Immigrant petitions on behalf of alien workers (Form I-140): increase from $580 to $700.
- Immigrant petition by alien entrepreneur under the EB-5 program (Form I-526): increase from $1,500 to $3,675.
- Application for Regional Center Designation under the EB-5 program (Form I-924): increase from $6,230 to $17,795.
- USCIS also seeks to requirea new filing fee of $3,035 for the Form I-924A, which is used for applications under the EB-5 Regional Center program.
- Application for adjustment of status (Form I-485): increase from $985 to $1140 (plus $85 biometrics fee).
- Application for Employment Authorization Document (EAD) (Form I-765): increase from $380 to $410.
- Application for naturalization/U.S. Citizenship (Form N-400): increase from $595 to $640 (plus $85 biometrics fee), but USCIS will reduce the fee to $320 for certain applicants with low income.
- Application for a certificate of citizenship (Form N-600): increase from $600 to $1,170
- USCIS Immigrant Fee for individuals entering the U.S. on immigrant visas issued by a U.S. Embassy or Consulate abroad: increase from $165 to $220.
Those wishing to apply for immigration benefits should therefore submit petitions and applications as soon as possible to take advantage of the current fees. Employers should also take these changes into consideration when budgeting for the immigration costs of their employees.