Major Changes to USCIS Forms and Fees: Should You Wait before Making Your Application?

On August 3, 2020 USCIS published a final rule “U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Fee Schedule and Changes to Certain Other Immigration Benefit Request Requirements” implementing the changes to the fee schedule for certain immigration benefits, as well as new editions for certain immigration forms.

Additionally, the rule removes certain fee exemptions, changes fee waiver requirements and alters premium processing limits. According to the USCIS, the fees are being adjusted for an average increase of 20 percent.

As such, the rule contains substantial increase of the fee changes for certain immigration forms, such as I-129 Petition for a Non-immigrant worker, I-130 Petition for Alien Relative, I-526 Immigrant Petition by Alien Investor and I-539 Application to Extend/Change Non-immigrant Status and more.

On the other hand, the fees for few other popular USCIS forms are planned to be decreased, for example the fee for I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker is now $700, however according to the Final Rule is planned to be changed to $555.

Additionally, USCIS was planning to release new editions of the USCIS forms, including I-129, I-764, I-912 and N-600/N-600A. Moreover, USCIS has separated the form I- 129 by the categories of the benefit granted (ex. L, E, H1, O, etc.).

The final rule was scheduled to take effect on October 2, 2020. However, on September 29, 2020, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California Immigration Legal Resource Center et al., v. Wolf, et al., 20-cv-05883-JWS preliminarily enjoined USCIS from implementing or enforcing any part of USCIS Fee Schedule and Changes to Certain Other Immigration Benefit Request Requirements rule.

For now (until the injunction is in force) the USCIS will continue to accept the current editions and current fees.

As such, if you are planning to apply for your relative abroad or want to obtain L-1 or E-2 non-immigrant visa, but do not wish to pay more or be involved in more complicated procedures, call Lawmaks at 212-500-0905 to schedule personalized consultation for your case.

Disclaimer: The content in this newsletter should not be construed as legal advice.  We encourage you to contact an Immigration Attorney for any immigration law questions you may have. Furthermore, the content herein is the work product of LAWMAKS and should not be copied or redistributed in any form or fashion by any individual or entity.