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USCIS Proposes to Nearly Double the Fee for Applying for a Green Card and Citizenship! Consider Applying Before the Change Takes Place

November 26, 2019
Aaron Lawee

On November 14, 2019, the Department of Homeland Security proposed a new rule which would increase U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) fees by a weighted average of 21%. The fee changes have not yet gone into effect, and members of the public are given until December 16, 2019, to comment on them. We do not anticipate that the changes will go into effect before that date, but we urge everyone who could be impacted to pay close attention.

Most applications and petitions will have a moderate change, and the prices of certain applications may even drop slightly. However, several applications will see a very large increase in fees. Some of the more most substantial proposed changes are as follows:

  • Many temporary work visa applications will see an increase between 22% and 87% (and the relevant forms themselves may be changing as well);
  • Adjustment of status (“green card”) applicants will have to pay separate filing fees for their work permits (Employment Authorization Document or EAD) and travel permits (Advance Parole) while their cases are processing. This would increase the total fee from $1,140 to $2,125 and will require paying an additional fee of $985 each year to renew the work and travel permits if the green card case takes so long to be adjudicated;
  • The I-601A, provisional unlawful presence waiver, will increase from $630 to $960;
  • The application for naturalization to become a U.S. citizen will increase from $640 to $1,170.

Please review the table below to see how the proposed fee increases could impact your particular immigration case.

You can find the entire text of the proposed rule in the federal register here:

https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2019/11/14/2019-24366/us-citizenship-and-immigration-services-fee-schedule-and-changes-to-certain-other-immigration

Things to keep in mind:

  • If you are considering applying for an immigration benefit, we recommend that you think about applying before the proposed fee changes go into effect (unless your application is one of the few that is set to drop in price).
  • Remember that forms and fees are always subject to change. At the time you apply for any benefit, be sure that you submit the most up to date form and the correct fee. This information can be found on the USCIS website for the particular form you are filing. If you do not submit the correct combination of forms and fees, your application could be rejected or denied.
  • As always, pay close attention: the proposed fees are not necessarily the final fees, and it is possible that the fees could change again before a final rule.

At Minsky McCormick & Hallagan, we know the immigration process is complicated and intimidating, and such changes only make things more challenging. If you have any questions about these proposed changes or to seek assistance in applying for an immigration benefit, schedule an appointment with one of our experienced immigration attorneys.

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