Proposed Rule on New USCIS Fees
- Posted by Akiko Yamada, Esq.
- On January 27, 2023
- 0 Comments
On January 4, 2023, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published a proposed rule to adjust certain immigration and naturalization fees charged by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The fees have remained unchanged since 2016 and this is a first proposal of new USCIS fees since then.
Proposed Rule on New USCIS Fees
The proposed rule would increase some fees, including a modest increase in the fee for certain naturalization applications. The rule preserves existing fee waiver eligibility for low-income and vulnerable populations and adds new fee exemptions for certain humanitarian programs.
The proposed rule on the fee adjustment includes the following:
Citizenship and Naturalization:
Request for Hearing on a Decision in Naturalization Proceedings—Online or Paper
Application for Naturalization—Online or Paper (with biometric services)
Application for Naturalization—Reduced Fee (with biometric services)
Application for Certificate of Citizenship—Online or Paper
Application for Status as a Temporary Resident Under Section 245A of the INA (with biometric services)
Notice of Appeal of Decision
Application to Adjust Status from Temporary to Permanent Resident (Under Section 245A of the INA) (with biometric services)
Application for Family Unity Benefits (with biometric services)
Petition for Alien Fiance´(e)
Petition for Alien Relative—Online
Petition for Alien Relative—Paper
Petition to Classify Orphan as an Immediate Relative (with biometric services for one adult)
Application for Advance Processing of an Orphan Petition (with biometric services for one adult)
Application for Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver (with biometric services)
Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence (with biometric services
Petition to Classify Convention Adoptee as an Immediate Relative
Application for Determination of Suitability to Adopt a Child from a Convention Country (with biometric services)
H-1B Pre-Registration Fee
Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker: H–1 Classifications
H–2A Petition—Named Beneficiaries
H–2B Petition—Named Beneficiaries
H–2A Petition—Unnamed Beneficiaries
H–2B Petition—Unnamed Beneficiaries
Petition for L Nonimmigrant Worker
Petition for O Nonimmigrant Worker
Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker
Immigrant Petition by Standalone Investor
Immigrant Petition by Regional Center Investor
Application for Employment Authorization—Online (with biometric services).
Application for Employment Authorization—Paper (with biometric services)
Petition by Investor to Remove Conditions on Permanent Resident Status (with biometric services)
Application For Regional Center Designation
Regional Center Annual Statement
Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card—Online (with biometric services)
Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card—Paper (with biometric services)
Application for Travel Document (with biometric services)
Application for Permission to Reapply for Admission into the U.S. After Deportation or Removal
Notice of Appeal or Motion
Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status (with biometric services)
Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status (under the age of 14 in certain conditions)
Forms I–485 and I–131 with biometric services
Forms I–485 and I–765 (filed on paper) with biometric services
Forms I–485, I–131, and I–765 (filed on paper) with biometric services
Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status—Online (with biometric services)
Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status—Paper (with biometric services)
Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility
Application for Action on an Approved Application or Petition
USCIS Immigrant Fee
Further summary of current and proposed fees can be found in the Table 1 of the relevant Federal Register.
Other Proposals on Certain Procedures
Other than the fee adjustment, the proposed new rule includes specific changes that include:
- Adding new fee exemptions for certain humanitarian programs and preserving the fee waiver requirements that are currently in effect.
- Removing fee exemptions that are based only on the age of the person submitting the request.
- Eliminating the $30 returned check fee.
- Incorporating biometrics costs into the main benefit fee and removing the separate biometric services fee in most cases. (Temporary Protected Status and the filings accepted on behalf of the Executive Office for Immigration Review are exceptions, where the rule proposes a separate biometric services fee of $30 instead of the current $85.)
- Requiring separate filing fees for Form I-485 and associated Form I-131 and Form I-765 filings.
- Limiting the number of named beneficiaries on certain petitions for nonimmigrant workers.
- Revising the premium processing timeframe interpretation from calendar days to business days.
- Clarifying that USCIS will not redeposit payments returned as unpayable for a reason other than insufficient funds.
- Stating that fees paid to USCIS using a credit card are not subject to dispute, chargeback, forced refund, or return to the cardholder for any reason except at the discretion of USCIS.
- Revising certain processes for adoptions from countries that are not party to the Hague Adoption Convention (orphan cases) to align them with the processes for adoptions from countries that are party to that Convention.
- Revising regulations related to genealogy searches, including establishing a fee for Form G-1566, Request for Certificate of Non-Existence.
- Instituting lower fees for certain forms filed online.
According to USCIS, the new fees would allow USCIS to more fully recover its operating costs, reestablish and maintain timely case processing, and prevent the accumulation of future case backlogs.
This is a proposed rule, with a 60-day public comment period that begins on the date specified in the Federal Register. After the public comment is closed on March 6, 2023, USCIS will finalize the fee schedule in response to the public comments. The USCIS fee schedule will not change until a final rule is ultimately published and goes into effect.