As we already published, USCIS published a Final Rule on August 3 significantly altering certain commonly used immigration applications 

Key takeaways from the final rule include (but are not limited to):

Adjustment of Status – Family & Employment. The fees for adjustment of status, a commonly used application for family and employment based green cards, effectively doubled, because USCIS unbundled the fees for work authorization (I-765, effective October 2, the fee will be $550) and travel authorization (I-131, effective October 1, the fee will be $590) resulting in a total cost for the three applications of $2270, including biometrics. Previously, when bundled, the fee was $1225 (including previous biometrics fee of $85). 

  • Adjustment of Status for Children Under 14. Moreover, the final rule removes the reduced Form I-485 filing fee for children under the age of 14 filing with a parent. A standard Form I-485 fee of $1,130 will apply to all applicants. It also requires separate fees for Forms I-765 and I-131 for work and travel authorization.
  • Provisional Waivers. If a waiver is required to forgive unlawful presence, that fee has changed from $630 to $960.
  • Other Waivers. The fee for waivers of other grounds of inadmissibility has changed from $930 rto $1010 (I-601) and $930 to $1050 (I-212).

U Visa Adjustment of Status. Additionally, U Visa Adjustment applicants will pay a fee of $1680 including work authorization. If they require a waiver of unlawful presence, the waiver application will now be $1400.

Asylum Applications & Asylum Adjustment of Status. The final rule establishes a $50 filing fee for applications for asylum (Form I-589) which, if paid and asylum is granted, will result in a $50 reduction in the fee for adjustment of status (Form I-485). 

Employment-Based Nonimmigrant Petitions. The new fee schedule creates separate fees and forms for each visa classification filed on Form I-129, with fees increasing as much as 75% for an L-1 petition. Fees that are expected to increase include: 

I-129 for H3 / E / TN / P / Q / R $695 Increase of $235
I-129 for H1B Visas $555 Increase of $95
I-129 for L Visas $805 Increase of $345
I-129 for O Visas $705 Increase of $245

*These fees do not reflect changes where applicable to ACWIA / Fraud Prevention Fees. 

Application for Employment Authorization. For initial applications or renewals, USCIS will increase in fee from $410 to $550. For asylum applicants for work authorization, TPS applicants, and applicants for certain benefits from EOIR, USCIS will also charge a $30 fee for biometrics.

Naturalization. The filing fee for a Form N-400 will increase 83% from to $640 to $1,170. The final rule eliminates the reduced Form N-400 fee option for certain applicants.

Premium Processing. The final rule lengthens the time frame for USCIS to take an adjudicative action on petitions filed with a request for premium processing from 15 calendar days to 15 business days.

Fee Waivers. The availability of fee waivers has been significantly limited by USCIS. We will be contacting those clients who will be affected by this rule directly.

Poarch Thompson advises that clients act quickly to complete pending matters to ensure that their filings can be submitted prior to the fee increase on October 2, 2020.