The majority of this "change" means "increase," however, in some categories application fees will actually decrease.
- Petition for Alien Fiancé/e (Form I-129-F) - reduced by $115, to $340
- Application to Extend / Change Nonimmigrant Status (Form I-539) - reduced by $10, to $290
- Application to Adjust Status from Temporary to Permanent Resident (Form I-698) - reduced by $350, to $1,020
- Application for Family Unity Benefits (Form I-817) - reduced by $5, to $435
- Application for Replacement Naturalization / Citizenship Document (Form N-565) - reduced by $35, to $345
- Application for Travel Document (Form I-131), when filed for a Refugee Travel Document
The USCIS did not increase the filing fee for naturalization applications, and also eliminated two citizenship-related fees for U.S. service members and veterans who are eligible to apply for naturalization using form N-400 with no fee:
- Request for a Hearing on a Decision in Naturalization Proceedings (Form N-336)
- Application for Certificate of Citizenship (Form N-600)
FEE WAIVERS MADE MORE WIDELY AVAILABLE:
USCIS has expanded the availability of fee waivers for certain benefits available to humanitarian parole applicants, victims of trafficking, and persons seeking to appeal a denial of any application or petition that did not initially require a fee.
USCIS will raise application and petition fees by approximately 10 percent. Fees will increase for (among many others):
- Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card (Form I-90) - increased by $75, to $365
- Petition for Alien Relative (Form I-130) - increased by $65, to $420
- Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker(Form I-140) - increased by $105 to $580
- Application to Register Permanent Residence or to Adjust Status (Form I-485) - increased by $55 to $985; the biometrics fee will increase by $5, $85
- Application for Employment Authorization (Form I-765) - increase by $40, to $380
The new fees will take effect on November 23, 2010.
Mark your calendars! Applications postmarked or filed on November 23rd, or after, will need to pay the new fees. (For details, see the revised fee schedule on the USCIS Fact Sheet, After Public Comment, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Announces Final Rule Adjusting Fees for Immigration Benefits, September 23, 2010.)
WHY THE INCREASE?
Unfortunately, USCIS does not have much choice but to raise its fees. Congress requires the agency to provide 90 percent of its budget from fee revenue. Given the current climate of fiscal constraint, coupled with the resentment felt towards immigrants in some areas, it seems unlikely that Congress will provide the USCIS with enough funding to prevent fee increases.
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