Immigration Proposes Sharp Increase in Filing Fees

The Immigration Service (USCIS) has proposed a sharp increase in filing fees for a wide variety of immigration application and petitions. The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking was published in the Federal Register on February 1, 2007.

USCIS has stated that the current fees do not reflect the full costs of services that the Agency should provide and that these increased fees will result in a more efficient and effective organization. They also state that the increased fees will help to reduce application processing times by an average of 20 percent over the next two years.

Here are a few examples of fee increases for some of the more frequently sought after benefits:

Form I-140: (Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker) will increase from $195 to $475.

Form I- 485: (Application to Register Permanent Resident or Adjust Status) will increase from $325 to $905. This fee will include an automatic Advance Parole and Employment Authorization for the first year.

Form I-765: Application for Employment Authorization will increase from $180 to $340 for subsequent years.

Form I-131: Application for Advance Parole documents will increase from $170 to $305.

Form I-129 (Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker) will increase from $190 to $320. Form N-400: (Application for Naturalization) will increase from $330 to $595.

The weighted average increase for application and petition fees will be approximately 86 percent.

This is a proposal, not a final rule. Comments in opposition to (or in support of!) the increases may be made, identified by DHS Docket No. USCIS-2006-0044, before April 2, 2007 by one of the following methods:

Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.

E-mail: OSComments@dhs.gov. Include the docket number in the subject line of the message. Facsimile: Federal eRulemaking portal at 866-466-5370.

Mail: Director, Regulatory Management Division, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Department of Homeland Security, 111 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, 3rd Floor, Washington, DC 20529. To ensure proper handling, please reference DHS Docket No. USCIS-2006-0044 on your correspondence. This mailing address may also be used for paper, disk, or CD-ROM submissions.

We are urging our clients who may be considering filing for immigration benefits of any kind to consider these proposed increases in deciding when to proceed.