Most USCIS Filing Fees Increasing April 1, 2024

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Most USCIS Filing Fees Increasing April 1, 2024

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On January 30, 2024, USCIS announced that many of the filing fees for immigration applications will increase starting April 1, 2024. The fees of almost all forms will be increasing, including fiancé(e) petitions, family-based petitions, non-immigrant status extension requests, work permits, travel documents, employment-based petitions, green card applications, and others. One notable change will be that applications for work permits and travel documents filed concurrently with green card applications will require their own separate filing fees—prior to this change, adjustment applicants can file them without any additional fee. Some application fees, such as applications to renew or replace green cards, are decreasing slightly, and the agency is introducing $50 fee discounts for some applications if they are filed online rather than via a paper filing.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published a final rule adjusting the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) fee schedule. The 207-page rule will take effect on April 1, 2024, and with it comes significant changes to USCIS’ existing fee amounts and structures.

A table outlining the changes to the fee schedule, with the current and new fees and the percentage different between the current and new fees, is available on USCIS’ fee rule FAQ page. Many fees are increasing, some by a little and some by a lot; and some cases will be eligible for a $50 discount if they file certain forms online, including the forms: I-90, I-130, I-539, I-765, N-336, N-400, N-565, N-600, N-600K, G-1041, and G-1041A.

The fee rule codifies existing fee exemptions and expands fee exemptions to certain humanitarian applicants requesting adjustment of status (such as T and U nonimmigrants, VAWA self-petitions, and Special Immigrant Juveniles), to adoption-related fees for certain types of cases, and to military members and their families. It also reduces biometrics fees for most applications and other fees associated with certain types of adjustment of status and naturalization cases. And it codifies the policy standard that USCIS may grant a fee waiver if the requestor demonstrates an inability to pay based on either the receipt of a means-tested benefit by the requestor or a child in the requestor’s household, a household income at or below 150 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines, or extreme financial hardship.

As part of the rule, USCIS must also publish updates forms to reflect the fee changes. The new forms will also take effect on April 1, 2024, and there will be a grace period to accept prior editions for most – but not all – forms through June 3, 2024, if the correct filing fee is submitted. Of note, USCIS will use the postmark date of a filing to determine whether the correct form version and fees were submitted but will use the date the filing is received to determine whether any applicable regulatory or statutory filing deadlines have been met.

One big change to note as well is that USCIS will no longer include an adjustment applicant’s I-131 and I-765 filing fees in the I-485 adjustment fee. Starting April 1, these 3 fees will have to be paid separately. However, USCIS is providing a 50 percent discount for I-765 (employment authorization/work permit) applications that are filed based on an adjustment of status application.

It is possible that the final fee rule will be challenged in federal court and that, if a temporary restraining order or preliminary injunction is successful, all or some of the new fee schedule may not take effect as scheduled. While this may prevent some of the higher fee increases from taking place, it may also mean that some of the reduced fees will also not be effective. We will continue to monitor these issues and provide any updates.

In the meantime, we are reviewing all our existing cases in an effort to file all client petitions and applications with increasing fees before the fees go up on April 1. If you are an existing client, your attorney or paralegal will be reaching out to you, if they have not already, about this, and we ask that you please work with us as diligently as possible to get your case ready to file before the April 1 increase.

Finally, please note: This information is intended for educational purposes only. If you have questions about your eligibility for an immigration benefit or your immigration options, please contact Joseph & Hall at (303) 297-9171 to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced attorneys. If you are already a client of Joseph & Hall and have questions about your case, please contact your attorney to discuss your particular case.

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