USCIS published a final rule on 24 September in the Federal Register that will increase overall fees for immigration applications and petitions by a weighted average of around ten percent. In addition to raising some fees, the new rule -- which will take effect 23 November -- establishes new fees for regional center designations under the Immigrant Investor Pilot Program, new fees for requests for civil surgeon designations, and a fee to recover USCIS costs for immigrant visas granted by the Department of State. However, the new rule also reduces or eliminates some fees on servicemembers and U.S. armed forces veterans seeking citizenship-related benefits. In addition, the rule expands the availability of fee waivers to additional categories.
USCIS noted its appreciation for the 225 comments it received on the fee changes, and emphasized that its new fee rules are intended to bridge a gap between USCIS costs and anticipated revenue. Ninety percent of USCIS's budget comes from fees paid by applicants and petitioners for immigration benefits, but USCIS's fee revenue since 2008 has been much lower than expected.
The following will be the new fees, as of 23 November, for some of the most commonly used filings by employers:
- I-129 (H, L, O, P, etc.) - $325
- I-907 (premium processing) - $1,225
- I-140 (immigrant petition) - $580
- I-485 (adjustment of status including I-765 and I-131) - $985
- I-765 (e.g., F-1 OPT or L-2 EAD) - $380
- I-131 (e.g., reentry permit) - $360