Fees for immigration forms increased by an average of 21 percent on December 23, 2016. Some forms have stayed the same but most saw significant increases. The increase was necessary because Congress did not give additional funds. The increase is to cover the costs associated with the Refugee, Asylum, and International Operations Directorate, the Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements program (other than what user fees cover), and the Office of Citizenship.
There is a new three-level fee for naturalization applications. The standard fee will increase from $595 to $640 (not including the biometrics fee). A reduced fee of $320 will be charged to naturalization applicants with family income greater than 150 percent but not more than 200 percent of federal poverty guidelines. No fee will be charged to certain applicants with military service or with approved fee waivers. The fee for an Application for Certificate of Citizenship will increase from $600 to $1,170. The fee for the Application for Replacement Naturalization/ Citizenship Document will increase from $345 to $555.
A number of other fees have increased significantly as well. The Alien Entrepreneur has increased from $1,500 to $3,675. Deferred Action Beneficiaries will see an increase in the Employment Authorization form increases from $380 to $410 and the Travel Document from $360 to $575. The Nonimmigrant Worker will increase from $325 to $460. The Fiancee Petition increased $340 to $535 and the Petition for Alien Relative jumped from $420 to $535.
USCIS is required to conduct fee reviews every two years. This is the first fee increase since 2010. They increased the fees by 10 percent then. In 2007, the fees increased by 66 percent. The processing times are also expected to increase as well. Certain forms have changed as well. Avoid the confusion and come see Bailey and Galyen’s Immigration Attorneys.