A blog about U.S. immigration matters by Paul Szeto, a former INS attorney and an experienced immigration attorney and counsel. Contact Info: 732-632-9888, http://www.1visa1.com/ (All information is not legal advice and is subject to change without prior notice.)

Monday, September 27, 2010

Immigration Fees to Increase in November 2010

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that the filing fees for most of the immigration petitions will be increased again in November of 2010. The last major increase in immigration filing fees went into effect in July of 2007, substantially raising the filing fees for many commonly used applications. For examples, the I-458 adjustment of status application (or the “green card” application) was increased more than 200% to $930; the N-400 application for naturalization was increased to $595. This round of increase will not be as much last time. Some fees will actually decrease. Applicants must pay attention to the form instructions and pay the correct filing fees. Applications with incorrect filing fees will be rejected by the USCIS.

According to DHS, the USCIS is a fee-based agency, meaning that its costs and expenses are completely paid for by the application filing fees. A recent comprehensive study determined that the current fees are not sufficient to recover the full costs of services provided by the USCIS. The recent decrease in the number of immigration filings resulted in a $118 million revenue shortfall at the agency. Hence, the DHS proposed to increase the immigration filing fees and accepted public comments on its proposal. After considering the comments received, the DHS decided to maintain its original plan to increase the filing fees. The percentage increases range from a few percent to twenty percent or more. Three new fees will be established, including a fee for regional center designations under the Immigrant Investor Pilot Program, a fee for individuals seeking civil surgeon designation, and a fee to recover expenses of USCIS in processing immigrant visas granted by the Department of State.

The new fees will be effective on November 23, 2010. Some application fees including the N-400 naturalization application will remain the same. Some fees will actually decrease including the fee for change of nonimmigrant visa status (I-539). Some of the more common fees are listed below.


IMMIGRATION APPLICATION FEES
Application Current fees Final fees
I–90 Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card $290 to $365
I–102 Application for Replacement/Initial I-94 320 to 330
I–129 Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker 320 to 325
I–129F Petition for Alien Fiance´ (e) 455 to 340
I–130 Petition for Alien Relative 355 to 420
I–131 Application for Travel Document 305 to 360
I–140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker 475 to 580
I–290B Notice of Appeal or Motion 585 to 630
I–360 Petition for Amerasian, Widow, or Special Immigrant 375 to 405
I–485 Application Adjust Status 930 to 985
I–526 Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur 1,435 to 1,500
I–539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status . 300 to 290
I–601 Application for Waiver of Ground of Excludability 545 to 585
I–751 Petition to Remove the Conditions of Residence 465 to 505
I–765 Application for Employment Authorization 340 to 380
I–824 Application for Action on an Approved Application 340 to 405
I–829 Petition by Entrepreneur to Remove Conditions 2,850 to 3,750
I–907 Request for Premium Processing Service 1,000 to 1,225
Civil Surgeon Designation 0 to 615
N–400 Application for Naturalization 595 to 595
N–470 Application to Preserve Residence for Naturalization 305 to 330
N–600 Application for Certification of Citizenship 460 to 600
Biometrics: Capturing & Processing 80 to 85

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