USCIS Fee Changes
The USCIS has announced that it will adjust fees to help meet its operational needs, a move which will dramatically impact applications for permanent residency and citizenship. Effective October 2, 2020, this change provides for a modest decrease in the filing fee required with the Form I-485 (from $1,140 to $1,130) but increases the fee for I-485 applicants under 14 years of age (from $750 to $1,130). Furthermore, this fee change proposes to remove the fee waiver for the Forms I-765 and I-131 when filing with an I-485 Application for Adjustment of Status. As a result, individuals seeking to obtain an EAD/AP combo card associated with their Form I-485 will need to pay additional fees of $550 and $590, for their EAD and AP authorizations, respectively. This is a significant development which more than doubles the cost of filing a traditional adjustment of status application package ($2,270).
Other changes of note include the N-400 fee being increased from $640 to $1,160 for online filings, the I-612 Application for Waiver of the Foreign Residence Requirement being reduced from $930 to $515, and the I-601 Application for Waiver of Ground for Excludability being increased from $930 to $1,010.
Though these changes are drastic and significantly impact the financial burden on applicants for permanent residency and citizenship, it is still possible that the implementation of the final rule may be blocked or delayed by court order and we will continue to monitor and post updates regarding any such developments. In the interim, I-485 applications postmarked prior to the effective date of this rule (10/2/2020) will be adjudicated under the current fee schedule and policy towards associated EAD/AP combo card applications.
Please contact us if you have any questions regarding how your pathway to permanent residency may be impacted by this development. We are also happy to discuss how our office may be able to assist with filing your application(s) prior to this proposed fee change, as the financial ramifications of these fee changes are significant.