Immigration Increasing Filing Fee – Effective Dec. 23; first in six years

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced a final rule increasing filing fee for most immigration applications and petitions. The new fees will be effective Dec. 23, 2016.  USCIS is almost entirely funded by the fees paid by applicants and petitioners for immigration benefits. The law requires USCIS to conduct fee reviews every two years to determine the funding levels necessary to administer the nation’s immigration laws, process benefit requests and provide the infrastructure needed to support those activities.

Fees will increase for the first time in six years, by a weighted average of 21 percent for most applications and petitions.   This increase is necessary to recover the full cost of services provided by USCIS. These include the costs associated with fraud detection and national security, customer service and case processing, and providing services without charge to refugee and asylum applicants, and to other customers eligible for fee waivers or exemptions.

The final rule contains a table summarizing current and new fees – view table by clicking on this link https://www.uscis.gov/forms/our-fees

A modest fee increase of $45, or 8 percent, from $595 to $640 for Form N-400, Application for Naturalization.
USCIS will offer a reduced filing fee of $320 for naturalization applicants with family incomes greater than 150 percent and not more than 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. For 2016, this means that a household of four with an income between $36,000 and $48,600 per year could pay the reduced fee. Those eligible may apply for this option using the new Form I-942, Request for Reduced Fee.

For more information on increasing filing fee, email Gail@GailLaw.com or call 1-877-GAIL-LAW or 407-292-7730.
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