Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Many USCIS filing fees will increase on December 23, 2016

Just in time for Christmas, USCIS will be increasing many of its filing fees. https://www.uscis.gov/news/news-releases/uscis-announces-final-rule-adjusting-immigration-benefit-application-and-petition-fees. The increase is effective December 23, 2016. A complete schedule of affected forms is at https://www.uscis.gov/forms/our-fees.

In particular, the fee increases apply to, among others, forms I-129 (used in H-1B and other temporary worker filings), I-130 (petition for an alien relative e.g. a spouse of a U.S. citizen), I-485 (application to adjust status), I-751 (application to remove conditions on conditional residence) and I-765 (application for employment authorization). Note, however, the form I-907, for premium processing, is EXCLUDED from the fee increase. In order to avoid the increased fees, you must postmark or file any affected form prior to December 23.

If you are considering an early filing to avoid the fee increase, make sure that you are truly able to file early. For example, at this writing, an employer who wishes to file a cap-subject H-1B petition can do so only on or after April 1, 2017, and thus is unable to avoid the fee increase. In other words, an employer who filed such a petition prior to December 23 would receive a denial of that petition, because the cap is now full. Furthermore, make sure that any such early filing does not compromise the quality of your submission.

The above information does not constitute legal advice and does not form an attorney-client relationship.

Calvin Sun, Attorney at Law
Immigration and nationality law
175 Strafford Ave., Suite 1, Wayne PA 19087
Office 610-296-3947, cell 215-983-3723
Skype and We Chat: calvin_t_sun
Pr. 17:15,
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