USCIS could raise filing fees for most immigration applications as soon as March of this year. The sooner you apply for immigration, the better. Is your application affected?
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is increasing the filing fees for certain immigration applications, petitions, and services in order to balance its operating costs with fee revenue. This fee increase will affect most applicants seeking immigration benefits from USCIS including those applying for permanent residence or citizenship through naturalization.
The proposed fee schedule increases will vary depending on the type of application or petition filed and are generally between 21-82%, with some fees increasing even more. For example, the proposed cost of acquiring a green card may increase more than double.
The new fee changes could take effect as soon as May 2023. USCIS will release a final rule with the full fee schedule and additional information about the changes sometime in the next few months, so it’s important to keep an eye out for any updates.
Most immigration-related filings will be affected by the fee increase, including H-1B visas, applications for citizenship (Form N-400), permanent residence (Form I-485), employment authorization (EAD) and travel documents (Form I-131).
The cost of filing a marriage-based green card application could increase from $1760 to over $3640
Other fees that may increase include those associated with asylum and refugee status, as well as changes of address or name. Additionally, applicants submitting biometrics (fingerprints and/or photographs) will also be subject to additional fees.
The decision to increase filing fees was made by the USCIS in coordination with other government agencies. The fee increases are intended to help offset the cost of administering immigration benefits, as well as provide additional funding for programs that help to protect national security and public safety.
Additionally, the fee structure is designed to recover costs based on the actual processing time and resources associated with each application or petition.
The increase in filing fees could make it more difficult for certain people to immigrate to the US, as it may limit access to some types of immigration benefits.
It is recommended that applicants who are planning on applying for immigration benefits review their options and available resources before submitting any filings.
Additionally, applicants should be aware of all existing fees and applicable deadlines to ensure their application is filed correctly.
USCIS has recently been increasing filing fees regularly to help offset the administrative costs of processing immigration benefits. In 2017, USCIS increased its filing fees by an average of 21%, followed by an increase in 2019 of 30% for certain filings.
This latest fee increase will be the third one in recent years and could have a significant impact on those looking to immigrate to the US.
In some cases, there are ways to avoid paying filing fees. For example, applicants who qualify for certain fee waivers may be able to submit their applications without having to pay any filing fees. Additionally, if an applicant is applying for a family member who qualifies as a “for fee” immigrant, the applicant may be able to apply without having to pay the filing fee.
The best thing you can do is stay informed. USCIS will release a final rule with all of the details concerning the new fees and it’s important to keep an eye out for any updates or changes.
Additionally, applicants should review their options and resources before submitting any filings. It is also recommended to contact a qualified immigration attorney or representative for legal advice and assistance.
Lastly, applicants should be aware of all existing fees and applicable deadlines to ensure their application is filed correctly.
Learn how to mitigate delays in your visa application right here
No, unfortunately there is no formal process in place to appeal the fee increase. However, applicants may be able to submit comments or feedback when USCIS releases a final rule with all of the details concerning the new fees.
Additionally, it’s important to stay informed and review your options and resources before submitting any filings. It is also recommended to contact a qualified immigration attorney or representative for legal advice and assistance.
Have you been waiting to file your immigration application? If so, now is the perfect time — before fees increase drastically.
If you need help getting your immigration case filed ASAP, contact us today. Our team makes immigration easy.
*The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice; instead, all information, content, and materials available on this site are for general informational purposes only.
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