How Much Will Immigration Filing Fees Increase?

USCIS is increasing fees by a weighted average of 21 percent. These increases and individual percentage changes include the following:

IMPORTANT TIP:

File your USCIS applications NOW to avoid the proposed fee increases. Fees will increase on December 23, 2016.

Overview of Fee Increase

On May 4, 2016, the Department of Homeland Security proposed an increase in fees that the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) charges for immigration form filing. The proposed rule has been published in the Federal Register (81 FR 26904, 5/4/16). If the proposed ruling is implemented, filing fees on nearly all USCIS applications will increase by an average of 21% with the cost of some rising as much as 95%!

How Can I Avoid Paying These Proposed Fee Increases?

Because these fee increases are part of a proposed rule, they have not taken effect yet. People looking to obtain immigration benefits or start their citizenship application can apply before the new fee comes to effect, in order to avoid paying more.

Reduced Fee for Some Naturalization Applications

The proposed rule sets forth potential changes to the fee requirements for naturalization applications for families that meet designated income limitations. Under current regulations, a naturalization applicant can request a fee waiver for both the N-400 application ($595) and the corresponding biometrics ($85). The proposed rule would leave the fee waiver in place, and also create an option allowing for a 50 percent fee reduction for non-military naturalization applicants who have incomes greater than the 150 percent of poverty line, but not more than 200 percent of the poverty guidelines. The USCIS estimates that 11 percent of naturalization applicants fall within this category.

Why are the USCIS immigration filing fees increasing?

The USCIS is currently facing a $560 million budget shortfall and has determined that the current fee structure is not able to cover its cost of services. Because of this, the USCIS basically has no choice but to raise prices on immigration form processing and services.

If you need to file immigration paperwork this year, now is the time to do it! Don’t delay renewing your green card, starting your U.S. Citizenship application or taking care of any other immigration paperwork that you need to do in 2016. File your forms now while the fees are still at their current levels.

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