The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has dramatically increased its filing fees for most petitions and applications. The new fee structure will go into effect on July 30, 2007. Any petitions or applications received on or after that date will be subject to the new fees. Although we’re attaching the new fee schedule for your reference, we thought we’d point out some of the highlights:

Nonimmigrant petition

The base filing fee for an I-129 petition, the petition used for requesting H-1B, L-1A, L-1B, O-1, TN, and several other nonimmigrant statuses, will be $320, up from the current fee of $190.

Immigrant petition

Currently set at $195, the new fee for filing the I-140 immigrant visa petition will soar to $475. The I-140 petition is filed in all employment-based permanent residence cases. Adjustment of status application

he I-485 application for adjustment of status for those over 14 years old has shot up from $325 to $930. But, the increase is not as large as it may appear. That’s because once the new fee goes into effect, an applicant for adjustment of status can file an I-765 application for an employment authorization card (known as an EAD), and an I-131 application for an advance parole document, all at no additional cost. The “bundled” fee for all three applications will be $930. On the other hand, the $930 fee still applies, even if the applicant is not requesting an employment authorization card or an advance parole document. The fee for a child under the age of 14 has gone from $225 to $600, an increase of 166 percent.

Application for an employment authorization card

For an I-765 application for an EAD not filed in connection with an adjustment of status application, the fee rises from $180 to $340. For example, an L-2 nonimmigrant is entitled to employment authorization by virtue of his or her spouse’s L-1A or L-1B status. Since that application is not made in connection with any application for adjustment of status, the application fee will be $340.

Application for a re-entry permit

Permanent residents who plan to be abroad for an extended period should normally apply for a re-entry permit before they depart. The fee for doing so will now be $305, up from the current $170.

Naturalization application

Currently fixed at $330, the fee to file an N-400 application for naturalization will go up to $595, an increase of 80 percent.

To the extent that it is feasible for you to do so, you should file as many of your petitions and applications as you can before July 30, the effective date of this new rule.

On a different note

We are carefully monitoring the progress of S. 1348, the Senate immigration bill that’s been in the news just about every day since its introduction last month. As you may imagine, the bill is a moving target, with many amendments under consideration. For this reason, we will not provide a summary of its major provisions until the legislative picture becomes clear.