Immigration Proposes Big Fee Increases

The New Year is all about changes- changing bad habits, changing our dress size; The United States and Immigration Services (USCIS) is no different. In January 2023, USCIS announced they will be increasing the filing fee. Some of the fee increase is significantly higher than the current filing fees especially for the green card process. This will make it harder for applicants to pays these fees. You can find the proposed fee increase in the federal register.

USCIS is pushing applicants to file certain applications online, like the application for naturalization, request for employment authorization and the family green card petition, form I-130. The new fees are broken down into paper-based application and online filings. By filing online, the applicant will receive a reduced filing fee. The government’s reason for doing this is its operating costs has increased. There is a substantial increase to the application for unlawful presence waiver, adjustment of status, petition to remove condition and the form I-130. Some of the more significant increases to the more common applications are highlighted below:

Application Type                    Current Filing Fees                            Proposed Filing Fee:

N-600 (online or paper)         $640 (no biometric)                           $760 (no biometric)

I-130 (paper)                          $535                                                   $820

I-130 (online)                          $535                                                   $710

I-485                                       $1,225 (w/biometric)                      $1,540 (w/biometric)

I-485 and I-131                      $1,225 (with biometric)               $2,170 (w/biometric)

I-485 and I-765 (paper)          $1,225 (with biometric)          $2,190 (with biometric)

I-485 I-765 and I-131(paper)$1,225                                          $2,820 (with biometric)

I-765 (online)                          $410 (no biometric)                     $555 (no biometric)

I-765 (paper)                           $410 (with biometric)                 $650 (with biometric)

I-765 (online)                          $495(with biometric)                 $650 (with biometric)

I-751                                       $595 (no biometric)                        $1,195 (no biometric)

I-751                                       $680 (with biometric)                 $1,195 (with biometric)

I-601A                                    $630 (no biometric)                    $1,105 (no biometric)

I-601A                                    $715 (with biometric)                   $1,105 (with biometric)

I-131                                       $575                                                 $630

I-131                                       $660 (with biometric)                  $630 (with biometric)

It is important to note that the changes are not yet final.

What would the proposed fees be in a typical Adjustment of Status under the Family-based System?

Currently, the filing fees for an adjustment of status case under the family-based system is $1,750.  This is because the applicants received a discount when they filed the request for employment authorization (I-765) and travel document (I-131) with the adjustment of status application. Under the proposed fees it will cost the U.S. petitioner almost $4,000 to petition for their spouse or child. There will be no discount to any of the forms. For example, if a U.S. citizen is filing for their spouse or child through the adjustment of status process, the application filing fees under the proposed fees will be $3,530, if you filed the following forms online: I-130, I-485, I-765, and I-131. This is a $1,780 difference in the fees.  You may also want to include an additional of $750 to refile the form I-765, since the processing time for adjustment of status is about a year and half to two years.

What does this mean for you?

Like everyone else and USCIS, you may make a change by doing the following:

  1. creating an account at the USCIS Case System, this will help you save some money by filing the applications online.
  2. If you have been thinking about or planning to submit an application for a family member, this is the time to do it so you can take advantage of the current filing fees.

The change will not only be in the filing fees. These changes will be creating an increase to everyone preparing these applications as part of these application will be filed online and the other part of the application filed by paper.

If it is any consolation not all change is bad. Filing online will reduce the administrative strains of the USCIS personnel, which in turn will make faster processing of these applications.