Last month, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services ("USCIS") announced the publication of a final rule adjusting fees for immigration petitions and applications. The fee increase will take effect November 23, 2010. According to the USCIS, the fee increases are the ultimate result of budget cuts and poor revenues over the past two years. With around 90% of its budget coming from filing fees, in order to recover the costs of its operations while meeting application processing goals, USCIS required a fee adjustment.

The final rule creates the following three new fees: a fee for regional center designations under the Immigrant Investor Pilot Program; a fee for individuals seeking civil surgeon designation; and a fee to recover USCIS costs to process immigrant visas granted by the Department of State.

Fees affecting the most commonly filed petitions and applications by employers have increased rather than decreased. The most notable increase impacts the request to premium process a petition. This fee increases from $1,000 to $1,225. Also changing are fees for the following: I-129 Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker – increased from $320 to $325; I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status – decreased from $300 to $290; I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker – increased from $475 to $580; I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status – increased from $930 to $985; Biometrics fee increased from $80 - $85; I-131 Application for Travel Document – increased from $305 to $360; I-765 Application for Employment Authorization – increased from $340 - $380; and I-907 Request for Premium Processing Service – increased from $1,000 to $1,225. The entire list of fees follows this Advisory.

Final Rule: Schedule of Fees

The following schedule lists the adjusted fees that will take effect on November 23, 2010, alongside the existing fees in effect until that date:  

Please click here to view table