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  • Emily McIntosh

USCIS Adjusts Fees to Help Meet Operational Needs

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced on August 08, 2020 that it is adjusting fees for certain immigration and naturalization benefits to ensure that USCIS (the body that oversees U.S. immigration) can recover its cost of services.

USCIS is almost entirely fee funded - about 97% of USCIS’s budget comes from the fees that it collects from immigrants filing for different status in the U.S. immigration system. USCIS last updated its fee structure in December 2016 by a weighted average increase of 21%.

DHS is adjusting USCIS fees by a weighted average increase of 20% to help recover its operational costs. Current fees would leave the agency underfunded by about $1 billion per year.

“USCIS is required to examine incoming and outgoing expenditures and make adjustments based on that analysis,” said Joseph Edlow, USCIS deputy director for policy. “These overdue adjustments in fees are necessary to efficiently and fairly administer our nation’s lawful immigration system, secure the homeland and protect Americans.”

This final rule is effective Oct. 2, 2020. Any application, petition, or request postmarked on or after this date must include payment of the new, correct fees established by this final rule.

Below is the relevant list for employment based immigration.

Immigration Benefit Request Current Fee Final Fee

I-129H1 $460 $555

I-129L $460 $805

I-129O $460 $705

I-140 $700 $555

I-485 $1,140 $1,130

N-400 (online filing) $640 $1,160

N-400 (paper filing) $640 $1,170

For a complete list of changes and a complete list of final fees, refer to the final rule document.


Content in this publication is not intended as legal advice, nor should it be relied on as such. For additional information on the issues discussed, consult a WayLit-affiliated attorney or another qualified professional.



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