USCIS Filing Fees Update: Gov’t Withdraws 9th Circuit Appeal

Dec. 29, 2020 Update

Yesterday, the government filed a motion for voluntary dismissal of its appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in Immigrant Legal Resource Center et al., v. Wolf, et al., a legal challenge to the USCIS final rule from Aug. 20, which increased filing fees and required new versions of several forms.

This means that the increased fees and new fee waiver rules cannot be implemented by USCIS at this time. Also, the versions of USCIS forms revised on Oct. 2 (Forms I-129, I-765, I-912, and N-600/N-600A) only appear on the USCIS forms landing pages as preview versions, which cannot be submitted.

Sept. 29, 2020 Update

On September 29, 2020, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California stayed the implementation and the effective date of a USCIS final rule from Aug. 20, which increased filing fees and required new versions of several forms, (Immigrant Legal Resource Center et al., v. Wolf, et al.).

The court reasoned that the plaintiffs in the case will likely be able to prove that the final rule was unlawful because the Department of Homeland Security officials that were responsible for it, Acting Secretary Chad Wolf and prior Acting Secretary Kevin McAleenan, were not lawfully appointed to their positions under the Federal Vacancies Reform Act.

This means that the increased fees, as well as the form and policy changes related to the USCIS Fee Rule, cannot be implemented by USCIS at this time. (Therefore, members are not required to submit the Oct. 2 revisions of Forms I-129, I-765, I-912, or N-600/N-600A.

USCIS has announced that while the rule is enjoined, the agency will accept USCIS forms with current editions and current fees.

The government has up to 60 days to appeal the district court’s decision.

Aug. 3, 2020 Update

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has released a final rule that will impose significant fee increases across the legal immigration system. The average fee increase is about 20%. The changes include increases of about 80% naturalization and 100% for adjustment of status (including employment authorization and advance parole). The agency last adjusted its fees in 2016.

USCIS is primarily funded by user fees for immigration and naturalization services. The announcement comes as the agency is facing a significant budget shortfall and looming furloughs

The new fees are effective for applications and petitions received by USCIS on or after October 2.

Important notes:

  • Biometrics fees are no long charged separately except for TPS, EOIR-related fees, and EAD applications based on an asylum or a withholding of removal application.
  • The fee structure for a Form I-485, Application to Adjust Status, is changing:
    • Currently:
      • Form I-485: $1140
      • Biometrics: $85
      • Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization: no fee
      • Form I-131, Application for Travel Document (advance parole): no fee
      • Total: $1225
    • New fees:
      • Form I-485: $1130
      • Form I-765: $550
      • Form I-131: $590
      • Total: $2270

Here are more examples of the new fees:

FormCurrent FeeFinal FeeChange ($)Change (%)
I-129 H1$460$555$9521%
I-129 L$805$34575%
I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiancé(e)$535$510-$25-5%
I-130 Petition for Alien Relative (online filing)$535$550$153%
I-130 Petition for Alien Relative (paper filing)$560$255%
I-131 Application for Travel Document$575$590$153%
I-485 Application to Adjust Status$1140$1130-$10-1%
I-751 Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence$595$760$16528%
I-765 Application for Employment Authorization$410$550$14034%
N-400 Application for Naturalization (online filing)$640$1160$52081%
N-400 Application for Naturalization (paper filing)$1170$53083%
USCIS Immigrant Fee$220$190-$30-14%
Biometric Services (non-DACA)$85$30-$55-65%

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