Topic Groups

On November 14, 2019, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) proposed changing application and petition filing fees and making other forms processing changes. USCIS originally set a 30-day comment period ending December 16, 2019, but later extended the comment period for an extra two weeks, so comments are now due by December 30, 2019. NAFSA is preparing a comment letter. These are proposed changes only, and must be finalized by USCIS after reviewing public comments, by publishing a final rule in the Federal Register with a future effective date.

Quick-Reference of Proposed Changes to Fees for Forms Frequently Encountered in Higher Education

Form # Form Title Current Fee Proposed Fee % Change

I-102

Application for Replacement/Initial Nonimmigrant Arrival-Departure Document

$445

$ 490

10%

I-129

Petition for a Nonimmigrant worker

  1. I-129H-1 (H-1B and H-1B1)
  2. I-129O (O-1)
  3. I-129E&TN (E and NAFTA TN)
  4. I-129MISC (H-3, P, Q, or R)
  5. I-129L (L-1)

Currently, there is a single fee of $460 for Form I-129, which contains a variety of supplements used for the different petition-based categories. Under the proposal, USCIS will create separate forms for different category groupings, and charge different fees for the new form types.

$460

 
  1. $560
  2. $715
  3. $705
  4. $705
  5. $815
 
  1. 22%
  2. 55%
  3. 53%
  4. 53%
  5. 77%
I-131 Application for Travel Document (including advance parole) $575 $ 585 2%

I-140

Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker

$700

$ 545

-22%

I-193 Application for Waiver of Passport and/or Visa $585 $ 2,205 377%

I-290B

Notice of Appeal or Motion

$675

$ 705

4%

I-485

Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status

Although the base I-485 application fee will be lowered, it will no longer include the fee for Form I-765 (employment) and Form I-131 (advance parole). Adjustment applicants who wish to file for those benefits must submit separate payments with those ancillary applications. And so, whereas currently an adjustment applicant pays $1,140 for adjustment, employment, and advance parole, under the proposal the same applicant would pay almost double: $1,120 for adjustment, $545 for employment, and $ 585 for advance parole, resulting in fees of $2,250, a 97% net hike of $1,110.

$1,140

$ 1,120

-2%

I-539

Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status

$370

$ 400

8%

I-765

Application for Employment Authorization

$410

$ 490

20%

The above table lists only the forms most frequently encountered in higher education. See Table 19 (reproduced below) and the Federal Register notice for a complete list of proposed changes to forms and fees and USCIS' rationale for the changes.

Aside from fee and form changes, USCIS also proposes the following:

  1. Implement Signature Confirmation Restricted Delivery as the sole method of delivery of secure documents (such as green cards, EADs, and advance parole authorizations). In 2018, USCIS had partially implemented this protocol for documents that need to be re-mailed because they have been returned as non-deliverable.
  2. If a check or other financial instrument used to pay a fee is returned as unpayable because of insufficient funds, USCIS will resubmit the payment to the remitter institution one time.
  3. Remove the $30 charge for dishonored payments.
  4. Limit fee waivers only to VAWA self-petitioners, T and U nonimmigrants, certain battered spouses and children, and TPS applicants. Extremely limited exceptions. Fee waivers could generally no longer be requested for Forms I-765 and I-539.
  5. Incorporate the biometric services cost into the underlying immigration benefit request fee instead of charging a flat $85 biometric services fee.
  6. Change the premium processing timeframe from 15 calendar days to 15 business days.
  7. Consistently apply the $4,000 9-11 Response and Biometric Entry-Exit Fee (Sec. 411(b) Air Transportation Safety and System Stabilization Act, 49 USC Ch. 401 notes) to all petitioners filing a new or extension H-1B petition who employ 50 or more employees in the United States if more than 50 percent of the petitioner's employees in the aggregate are in H-1B, L-1A or L-1B nonimmigrant status, except for petitioners filing an amended petition without an extension of stay request. This fee would apply to petitions filed on or before September 30, 2027. A similar payment (for $4,500) would apply to covered L-1 petitions. USCIS does not keep the 9-11 Response and Biometric Entry-Exit fee. CBP receives 50 percent of it and the remaining 50 percent is deposited into the General Fund of the Treasury.

See the Federal Register notice for a complete list of proposed fee and form changes and other proposals, and instructions on submitting comments. Public comments must be received on or before December 16, 2019.

Table 19

Table 19 from the Federal Register notice preamble.

"Table 19 depicts the current and proposed USCIS fees for immigration benefit requests and biometric services. For a more detailed description of the basis for the changes described in this table, see Appendix Table 3 in the FY 2019/2020 Fee Review Supporting Documentation accompanying this proposed rule."

Table 19—Proposed Fees by Immigration Benefit

Immigration benefit request Current fee Proposed fee Delta ($) Percent change
I-90 Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card $455 $415 −$40 −9%
I-102 Application for Replacement/Initial Nonimmigrant Arrival-Departure Document 445 490 45 10
I-129 Petition for a Nonimmigrant worker 460 N/A N/A N/A
I-129H1 I-129 H-1B—Named Beneficiaries 460 560 100 22
I-129H2A I-129 H-2A—Named Beneficiaries 460 860 400 87
I-129H2B I-129 H-2B—Named Beneficiaries 460 725 265 58
I-129L Petition for L Nonimmigrant Worker 460 815 355 77
I-129O Petition for O Nonimmigrant Worker 460 715 255 55
I-129CW, I-129E&TN, and I-129MISCV Petition for a CNMI-Only Nonimmigrant Transitional Worker; Application for Nonimmigrant Worker: E and TN Classification; and Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker: H-3, P, Q, or R Classification. 460 705 245 53
I-129H2A I-129 H-2A—Unnamed Beneficiaries 460 425 −35 −8
I-129H2B I-129 H-2B—Unnamed Beneficiaries 460 395 −65 −14
I-129F Petition for Alien Fiancé(e) 535 520 −15 −3
I-130 Petition for Alien Relative 535 555 20 4
I-131 Application for Travel Document 575 585 10 2
I-131 Travel Document for an individual age 16 or older 135 145 10 7
I-131 I-131 Refugee Travel Document for a child under the age of 16 105 115 10 10
I-131A Application for Carrier Documentation 575 1,010 435 76
I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker 700 545 −155 −22
I-191 Application for Relief Under Former Section 212(c) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) 930 800 −130 −14
I-192 Application for Advance Permission to Enter as Nonimmigrant 585/930 1,415 830/485 142/52
I-193 Application for Waiver of Passport and/or Visa 585 2,790 2,205 377
I-212 Application for Permission to Reapply for Admission into the U.S. After Deportation or Removal 930 1,040 110 12
I-290B Notice of Appeal or Motion 675 705 30 4
I-360 Petition for Amerasian Widow(er) or Special Immigrant 435 455 20 5
I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status 1,140/750 1,120 −20/370 −2/49
I-526 Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur 3,675 4,015 340 9
I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status 370 400 30 8
I-589 Application for Asylum and for Withholding of Removal 0 50 50 N/A
I-600/600A Petition to Classify Orphan as an Immediate Relative/Application for Advance Processing of an Orphan Petition 775 810 35 5
I-600A/I-600 Supp. 3 Request for Action on Approved Form I-600A/I-600 N/A 405 N/A N/A
I-601 Application for Waiver of Ground of Excludability 930 985 55 6
I-601A Application for Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver 630 960 330 52
I-612 Application for Waiver of the Foreign Residence Requirement (Under Section 212(e) of the INA, as Amended) 930 525 −405 −44
I-687 Application for Status as a Temporary Resident under Section 245A of the Immigration and Nationality Act 1,130 1,130 0 0
I-690 Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility 715 770 55 8
I-694 Notice of Appeal of Decision 890 725 −165 −19
I-698 Application to Adjust Status From Temporary to Permanent Resident (Under Section 245A of the INA) 1,670 1,615 −55 −3
I-751 Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence 595 760 165 28
I-765 Application for Employment Authorization 410 490 80 20
I-800/800A Petition to Classify Convention Adoptee as an Immediate Relative/Application for Determination of Suitability to Adopt a Child from a Convention Country 775 810 35 5
I-800A Supp. 3 Request for Action on Approved Form I-800A 385 405 20 5
I-817 Application for Family Unity Benefits 600 590 −10 −2
I-821D Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (Renewal) 0 275 275 N/A
I-824 Application for Action on an Approved Application or Petition 465 500 35 8
I-829 Petition by Entrepreneur to Remove Conditions on Permanent Resident Status 3,750 3,900 150 4
I-881 Application for Suspension of Deportation or Special Rule Cancellation of Removal 185 285/570 1,800 1,515/1,230 532/216
I-910 Application for Civil Surgeon Designation 785 650 −135 −17
I-924 Application for Regional Center Designation Under the Immigrant Investor Program 17,795 17,795 0 0
I-924A Annual Certification of Regional Center 3,035 4,470 1,435 47
I-929 Petition for Qualifying Family Member of a U-1 Nonimmigrant 230 1,515 1,285 559
I-941 Application for Entrepreneur Parole 1,200 1,200 0 0
N-300 Application to File Declaration of Intention 270 1,320 1,050 389
N-336 Request for a Hearing on a Decision in Naturalization Proceedings 700 1,755 1,055 151
N-400 Application for Naturalization 640/320 1,170 530 83
N-470 Application to Preserve Residence for Naturalization Purposes 355 1,600 1,245 266
N-565 Application for Replacement Naturalization/Citizenship Document 555 545 −10 −2
N-600 Application for Certificate of Citizenship 1,170 1,015 −155 −13
N-600K Application for Citizenship and Issuance of Certificate Under Section 322 1,170 960 −210 −18
USCIS Immigrant Fee 220 200 −20 −9
G-1041 Genealogy Index Search Request 65 240 175 269
G-1041A Genealogy Records Request 65 385 320 492
Biometric Services 85 30 −55 −65

"Subject to certain limitations, the fees that DHS proposes in this rule may change in the subsequent final rule based on policy decisions, in response to public comments, intervening legislation, and other changes. DHS will explain any changes between the proposed and final fees."