U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services published a final rule outlining filing fee increases for immigration benefits petitions and applications. The announcement and related questions and answers mention several times that CIS receives approximately 90% of its $2.4 million budget from filing fees. As a result, CIS explains that it needs to increases the fees to recover the costs of its operations.

The new filing fees applicable to employers concern the I-129 petition for temporary visa categories (e.g. E, H-1B, L, O, TN) and green card processing (e.g. I-140 immigrant worker petition and I-485 application to adjust status). The I-129 petition fee increases only slightly, from $320 to $325. The I-1-140 petition fee will increase from $475 to $580. The I-485 application increases to $1,070, up from $1,010. The most substantial increase is for the optional premium processing fee for 15-day service. It will jump from $1,000 to $1,225. Finally, for employees with family members who require dependent status, such as H-4, the filing fee for the I-539 application actually will decrease by $10, from $300 to $290.

CIS maintains a complete list of filing fees at www.uscis.gov. As noted above, the new fees go into effect on November 23, 2010.