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USCIS Proposed Rule with Adjustments to Fee Schedule and Other Changes

Texas Immigration Attorneys

From our friends at AILA:

USCIS Proposed Rule with Adjustments to Fee Schedule and Other Changes

AILA Doc. No. 19110834 | Dated November 14, 2019

DHS proposed rule which would make changes to the USCIS fee schedule. DHS proposes to adjust USCIS fees by a weighted average increase of 21 percent, add new fees, and make other changes, including form changes and the introduction of several new forms. Comments are due 12/16/19. (84 FR 62280, 11/14/19). If you are interested in commenting on the proposed USCIS fee increase click on the following link: https://www.regulations.gov/comment?D=USCIS-2019-0010-0001

The following table includes current fees for USCIS forms and proposed changes.

Form No.Form TitleCurrent FeeProposed FeeDifferencePercent Change
G-1041Genealogy Index Search Request$65$240$175269 percent
G-1041AGenealogy Records Request$65$385$320492 percent
I-90Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card$455$415-$40-9 percent
I-102Application for Replacement/Initial Nonimmigrant Arrival-Departure Document$445$490$4510 percent
I-129/129CWPetition for a Nonimmigrant Worker$460*DHS is proposing to separate Form I-129 into several forms. See below.
I-129FPetition for Alien Fiancé(e)$535$520-$15-3 percent
I-129CW (Proposed)Petition for a CNMI-Only Nonimmigrant Transitional Worker$460$705$24553 percent
I-129E&TN (Proposed)Application for Nonimmigrant Worker: E or TN Classification$460$705$24553 percent
I-129H1 (Proposed)Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker: H-1 Classification$460$560$10022 percent
I-129H2A (Proposed)Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker: H-2A Classification$460$860 (named); $425 (unnamed)$400 (named)87 percent
I-129H2B (Proposed)Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker: H-2B Classification$460$725 (named); $395 (unnamed)$265 (named)58 percent
I-129L (Proposed)Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker: L Classification$460$815$35577 percent
I-129MISC (Proposed)Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker: H-3, P, Q, or R Classification$460$705$24553 percent
I-129O (Proposed)Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker: O Classification$460$715$25555 percent
I-130Petition for Alien Relative$535$555$204 percent
I-131Application for Travel Document$575$585$102 percent
I-131Travel Document for an individual age 16 or older$135$145$107 percent
I-131I-131 Refugee Travel Document for a child under the age of 16$105$115$1010 percent
I-131AApplication for Carrier Documentation$575$1,010$43576 percent
I-140Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker$700$545-$155-22 percent
I-191Application for Relief Under Former Section 212(c) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA)$930$800-$130-14 percent
I-192Application for Advance Permission to Enter as Nonimmigrant$930/585$1,415$830/ $485142/52 percent
I-193Application for Waiver of Passport and/or Visa$585$2,790$2,205377 percent
I-212Application for Permission to Reapply for Admission into the U.S. After Deportation or Removal$930$1,040$11012 percent
I-290BNotice of Appeal or Motion$675$705$304 percent
I-360Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant$435$455$205 percent
I-485Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status$1,140$1,120-$20-2 percent
I-485Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status (certain applicants under the age of 14 years)$750$1,120$37049 percent
I-526Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur$3,675$4,015$3409 percent
I-539Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status$370$400$308 percent
I-589Application for Asylum and for Withholding of Removal$0$50$50N/A
I-600Petition to Classify Orphan as an Immediate Relative$775$810$355 percent
I-600AApplication for Advance Processing of an Orphan Petition$775$810$355 percent
I-600A/I-600 Supp. 3Request for Action on Approved Form I-600A/I-600N/A$405$405N/A
I-601Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility$930$985$556 percent
I-601AApplication for Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver$630$960$33052 percent
I-612Application for Waiver of the Foreign Residence Requirement (Under Section 212(e) of the INA, as Amended)$930$525-$405-44 percent
I-687Application for Status as a Temporary Resident under Section 245A of the Immigration and Nationality Act$1,130$1,130$00 percent
I-690Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility$715$770$558 percent
I-694Notice of Appeal of Decision under Section 210 or 245A$890$725-$165-19 percent
I-698Application to Adjust Status from Temporary to Permanent Resident (Under Section 245A of the INA)$1,670$1,615-$55-3 percent
I-751Petition to Remove the Conditions of Residence$595$760$16528 percent
I-765Application for Employment Authorization$410$490$8020 percent
I-800Petition to Classify Convention Adoptee as an Immediate Relative$775$810$355 percent
I-800AApplication for Determination of Suitability to Adopt a Child from a Convention Country$775$810$355 percent
I-800A Supp. 3Request for Action on Approved Form I-800A$385$405$205 percent
I-817Application for Family Unity Benefits$600$590-$10-2 percent
I-821DConsideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (Renewal)$0$275$275N/A
I-824Application for Action on an Approved Application or Petition$465$500$358 percent
I-829Petition by Entrepreneur to Remove Conditions on Permanent Resident Status$3,750$3,900$1504 percent
I-881Application for Suspension of Deportation or Special Rule Cancellation of Removal$285/570$1,800$1,515/$1,230532/216 percent
I-910Application for Civil Surgeon Designation$785$650-$135-17 percent
I-924Application for Regional Center Designation Under the Immigrant Investor Program$17,795$17,795$00 percent
I-924AAnnual Certification of Regional Center$3,035$4,470$1,43547 percent
I-929Petition for Qualifying Family Member of a U-1 Nonimmigrant$230$1,515$1,285559 percent
I-941Application for Entrepreneur Parole$1,200$1,200$00 percent
N-300Application to File Declaration of Intention$270$1,320$1,050389 percent
N-336Request for a Hearing on a Decision in Naturalization Proceedings$700$1,755$1,055151 percent
N-400Application for Naturalization$640$1,170$53083 percent
N-400Application for Naturalization (Reduced Fee)$320*DHS is proposing to remove the reduced fee option
N-470Application to Preserve Residence for Naturalization Purposes$355$1,600$1,245266 percent
N-565Application for Replacement Naturalization/Citizenship Document$555$545-$10-2 percent
N-600Application for Certification of Citizenship$1,170$1,015-$155-13 percent
N-600KApplication for Citizenship and Issuance of Certificate Under Section 322$1,170$960-$210-18 percent
USCIS Immigrant Fee$220$200-$20-9 percent
Biometric Services Fee$85$30-$55-65 percent
Dishonored Payments (Returned Check Fee)$30$0-$30-100 percent

 

How does this affect us?

  • The proposed rule would force USCIS customers to pay more for less. USCIS is proposing a 21% overall fee hike without offering evidence that this increase will reverse the ongoing deterioration of the agency’s immigration benefit services. In fact, in key respects the rule would further weaken USCIS’s case processing standards. If implemented, families, protection seekers, and American businesses throughout the country would face the dual burden of increased fees and decreased services.
  • The proposed fee hikes, coupled with the elimination of vital fee waivers, would price many individuals and families out of our legal immigration system. If the rule is implemented, application fees for green cards, along with associated work and travel authorization, would surge by 79%, and for citizenship by 83%. The rule would also eliminate fee waivers for those form types as well as for numerous others. Moreover, the rule would significantly raise fees for DACA renewal requests. Taken together, these changes constitute yet another brick in the Trump Administration’s “invisible wall” restricting legal immigration.
  • USCIS should rescind its inefficient policies rather than ratchet up fees to subsidize them. In recent years, USCIS’s own inefficient policies have comprised core drivers of its crisis-level case processing delays. Now the agency is proposing higher fees to fund their continued implementation—in effect, foisting onto the public the costs of its own inefficiency. To fix the backlog, the agency should start by ending bad policies—not by raising fees to underwrite them.
  • By imposing a fee on asylum applications, the rule could result in the deportation and even death of vulnerable protection seekers. Only three countries in the world charge fees for asylum—now the United States, one of the world’s wealthiest countries – threatens to become the fourth. The proposed fee for affirmative asylum applicants could prove prohibitive for many protection seekers. Children and families lacking financial recourse could be compelled to return to the countries they fled, only to face further persecution or even death.
  • The rule’s proposed transfer of over $200 million in USCIS applicant fees to ICE defies the agency’s service-oriented statutory mandate. Congress created USCIS to function as a service-oriented immigration benefits agency, distinct from the immigration enforcement missions of ICE and CBP. Yet the proposed transfer to ICE for immigration enforcement purposes makes clear that USCIS is prioritizing ICE’s work over its own.
  • Though the rule seeks to justify its fee increases in large part by citing a need for more staffing, over the past year the agency diverted hundreds of its employees to perform enforcement work for ICE and CBP. In recent years, the rate of new applications and petitions filed with USCIS has declined appreciably. Yet the rule asserts that the agency needs far more resources to properly process its workload. The rule fails to explain why, if that is the case, USCIS sent hundreds of its employees to perform enforcement work for ICE and CBP in FY 2019.
  • The proposed rule is bad for business. Among other harmful changes, the rule relaxes the premium processing deadline from 15 calendar days to 15 business days, which will result in slower adjudications at higher prices—and as a consequence, slower hiring for American businesses facing critical workforce gaps and an inefficient agency lessening its own accountability standards.
  • Consistent with longstanding practice, USCIS should extend the comment period for the proposed rule from 30 to 60 days. Although the proposed rule is more than twice as long as USCIS’s most recent fee schedule rule, the comment period is half that of its predecessor. A 30-day period is wholly insufficient for the publicly to properly comment on a regulation of this size and complexity.

 

Citation: AILA Doc. No. 19111438 and AILA Doc. No. 19110834.