On September 23, 2010, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) announced a final rule, which adjusted its filing fees for immigration applications and petitions. The final rule was published in the Federal Register on September 24, 2010, and will become effective as of November 23, 2010. Applications or petitions postmarked or otherwise filed on or after this date must include the new fee, or they will be rejected.
The final rule will increase overall fees by a weighted average of about 10 percent but will not increase the fee for the naturalization application. The final fee rule establishes three new fees for:
- Regional center designation under the Immigrant Investor Pilot Program (EB-5);
- Individuals seeking civil surgeon designation (with an exemption for certain physicians who
examine service members, veterans, and their families at U.S. government facilities); and
- Recovery of the USCIS cost of processing immigrant visas granted by the Department of State.
The final fee rule also adjusts fees for the premium processing service. According to USCIS, this adjustment will ensure that it can “continue to modernize as an efficient and effective organization.”
The final fee rule reduces fees for six individual applications and petitions:
- Petition for Alien Fiancé (Form I-129F);
- Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status (Form I-539);
- Application to Adjust Status from Temporary to Permanent Resident (Form I-698);
- Application for Family Unity Benefits (Form I-817);
- Application for Replacement Naturalization/Citizenship Document (Form N-565); and
- Application for Travel Document (Form I-131), when filed for Refugee Travel Document.
In addition, the final fee rule eliminates two citizenship-related fees for those service members and veterans of the U.S. armed forces who are eligible to file an Application for Naturalization (Form N-400) with no fee:
- Request for Hearing on a Decision in Naturalization Proceedings (Form N-336); and
- Application for Certificate of Citizenship (Form N-600).
Lastly, the final fee rule expands the availability of fee waivers to new categories, including:
- Individuals seeking humanitarian parole under an Application for Travel Document (Form I-131);
- Individuals with any benefit request under the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008; and
- Individuals filing a Notice of Appeal or Motion (Form I-290B) following a denial of any application or petition that did not initially require a fee.
The new fee schedule is available on the USCIS website here.