On Monday, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that immigration benefit application and petition fees will be raised effective December 23, 2016. The final rule was published in the Federal Register on Monday and affects most immigration petitions and applications.
The USCIS is funded almost entirely by fees paid by petitioners and applicants for immigration benefits. Every two years the USCIS is required by law to conduct fee reviews to determine what the cost will be to administer immigrations laws and the amount of funding that will be necessary to process benefit requests and petitions as well as maintaining the infrastructure required to support such activities.
This will be the first time in six years that fees have been increased. The increase is approximately 21 percent for most petitions and applications. It was determined that the increase in fees was necessary to recoup the total cost of services administered by the USCIS. Costs associated with national security and fraud detection, case processing, customer service, and providing no cost services to asylum, refugee, and other applicants and petitioners eligible for exemptions or fee waivers are included in the review for fee increases.
A table outlining the current and new fees is included in the final rule and will also be available on the USCIS website. The new fees will not be reflected on Form G-1055 until the December 23. The USCIS will not accept petitions or applications postmarked on or after December 23 unless the new fee amount is included with the petition or application.
The Law Office of Sweta Khandelwal has over 10 years experience with immigration law and is located in the heart of Silicon Valley. Attorney Sweta Khandelwal will be able to answer any questions you may have about the new fee increase so you can make an informed decision regarding filing an immigration petition or immigration benefit application.