DHS Proposes Significant Changes In USCIS Filing Fees

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has published a proposed rule that seeks to

  • adjust certain USCIS fees,
  • add new fees for certain requests,
  • establish multiple fees for Form I-129 filings,
  • limit the number of beneficiaries on certain forms, and
  • change certain immigration benefit request requirements.

Some of the key proposals contained in the new rule include:

  1. Separating Form I–129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, into different forms, with different fees for these new forms. DHS proposes to increase the filing fee from $460 to $560 for H-1B petitions; $815 for L-1 petitions; $705 for P, Q and R petitions; and $715 for O petitions.
  2. Extending the Public Law 111–230 fee (additional fee of $2,000 for H–1B petitions and $2,250 for L-1 petitions filed by petitioners who employ 50 or more employees in the U.S., with more than 50% of its employees in the U.S. in H–1B or L–1 status) to all H–1B and L–1 extension petitions, including individual L–1 petitions filed under an approved Blanket L petition.
  3. Requiring separate filing fees for Form I–765 (Application for EAD) and Form I–131 (Application for Travel Document) when filed, either concurrently with a Form I–485, or while the I-485 is still pending. This would increase the filing fee for a Form I–485 with all interim benefits and biometric services from $1225 to $2195.
  4. Increasing the I-485 filing fee for a child under the age of 14 concurrently filing with a parent from $750 to $1,120.
  5. Limiting fee waivers to immigration benefit requests for which USCIS is required by law to consider a fee waiver or where the USCIS Director exercises favorable discretion as provided in the proposed regulation. Forms that would be impacted by this proposal include Form I–765 (Application for EAD), Form I–485 (Application for Adjustment of Status), Form I–751 (Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence), Naturalization and Citizenship related forms.
  6. Limiting fee waivers, generally, to individuals who have an annual household income of less than 125% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines.
  7. Changing the Premium Processing time frame from 15 calendar days to 15 business days.
  8. Increasing the fee for Form N–400 (Application for Naturalization) from $640 to $1,170.

The proposed rule is open for comments till December 16, 2019. We will continue to monitor developments related to the changes in the immigration filing fees and will keep our readers updated.

If you have any questions regarding any immigration filing or need any assistance with a U.S. visa application, please Contact VisaPro immediately. Our experienced attorneys will be happy to assist you.

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