The new filing fees announced by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) earlier this year will go into effect on November 23, 2010. Anticipating these changes, which include fee increases and reductions, is important not only to budget planning for sponsors but also for ensuring that your petition is not rejected by the USCIS mailroom as “improperly filed.”

A summary of the most significant fee adjustments to business immigration clients include: (* denotes reduction)

I-129/129CW     Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker     $325

I-131     Application for Travel Document     $360

I-140     Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker     $580

I-485     Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status     $985

I-539     Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status     $290*

I-765     Application for Employment Authorization     $380

I-907     Request for Premium Processing Service     $1,225  

Biometrics Capturing, Processing, and Storing Biometric Information$85  

Impact of Fee Changes on Applicants for Adjustment of Status

It is important to note that Applicants for Adjustment of Status who applied before the previous fee increase became effective on July 30, 2007 will continue to have to file separate renewal applications with increased fees for both employment (I-765, EAD) and travel authorization (I-131, Advance Parole). Applicants for Adjustment of Status who file after the current fee change on November 23, 2010 will only pay a one-time fee of $985 (I-485) and $85 (biometrics) that will cover the initial EAD and Advance Parole applications as well as any future renewals.

USCIS Admonition Regarding Incomplete Applications

The USCIS has reminded the public that where it deems an application or petition package submitted prior to November 23, 2010 to be incomplete it will return it to the applicant possibly subjecting the re-filing to the higher fees. It is critical to have an experienced immigration attorney carefully review the application or petition packages before submitting them to ensure that they are complete. During the initial period of fee changes we inevitably witness improper rejections from the USCIS mailroom. We will continue to be alert to this possibility during the upcoming fee changes.