Federal Court Temporarily Halts Immigration Fee Increase

A federal judge on Sept.30 temporarily blocked USCIS from increasing fees for green card and U.S. citizenship applications which was supposed to take into action starting from Oct.2, 2020. 

Original final rule date by USCIS: “This final rule is effective Oct. 2, 2020. Any application, petition, or request postmarked on or after this date must include payment of the new, correct fees established by this final rule.”

The fee calculator is currently still using the unchanged fee rules. At this point, it’s still valid to be used to determine the application fee for your case filing.



August Network will continue to monitor the rule change and the final decision from the court. 

Below is the fee adjustemetn rule that was originally released on USCIS website:

Department of Homeland Security announced a final rule(please see the table below) that adjusts fees for certain immigration and naturalization benefit requests to ensure U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services recovers its costs of services.

Unlike most government agencies, USCIS is fee funded. Fees collected and deposited into the Immigration Examinations Fee Account fund nearly 97% of USCIS’ budget.

As required by federal law, USCIS conducted a comprehensive biennial fee review and determined that current fees do not recover the cost of providing adjudication and naturalization services. DHS is adjusting USCIS fees by a weighted average increase of 20% to help recover its operational costs. Current fees would leave the agency underfunded by about $1 billion per year.

“USCIS is required to examine incoming and outgoing expenditures and make adjustments based on that analysis,” said Joseph Edlow, USCIS deputy director for policy. “These overdue adjustments in fees are necessary to efficiently and fairly administer our nation’s lawful immigration system, secure the homeland and protect Americans.”

The rule accounts for increased costs to adjudicate immigration benefit requests, detect and deter immigration fraud, and thoroughly vet applicants, petitioners and beneficiaries. The rule also supports payroll, technology and operations to accomplish the USCIS mission. The rule removes certain fee exemptions, includes new nominal fees for asylum applicants, and reduces fee waivers to help recover the costs of adjudication.

This final rule also encourages online filing by providing a $10 reduction in the fee for applicants who submit forms online that are electronically available from USCIS. Online filing is the most secure, efficient, cost-effective and convenient way to submit a request with USCIS.

USCIS last updated its fee structure in December 2016 by a weighted average increase of 21%.

August Network selected and highlighted the application categories that are mostly related to our clients. For a full list of changes and a complete table of final fees,please see  https://s3.amazonaws.com/public-inspection.federalregister.gov/2020-16389.pdf

Immigration Benefit RequestCurrent FeeFinal FeeChange ($)Percentage Change
I-129H1$460$555$9521 percent
I-129H2A – Named Beneficiaries$460$850$39085 percent
I-129H2B – Named Beneficiaries$460$715$25555 percent
I-129L$460$805$34575 percent
I-129O$460$705$24553 percent
I-129H2A – Unnamed Beneficiaries$460$415-$45-10 percent
I-129H2B – Unnamed Beneficiaries$460$385-$75-16 percent
I-129F Petition for Alien Fiancé(e)$535$510-$25-5 percent
I-130 Petition for Alien Relative (online filing)$535$550$153 percent
I-130 Petition for Alien Relative (paper filing)$535$560$255 percent
I-131 Application for Travel Document$575$590$153 percent
I-131 Refugee Travel Document for an individual age 16 or older$135$145$107 percent
I-131 Refugee Travel Document for a child under the age of 16$105$115$1010 percent
I-131A Application for Travel Document (Carrier Documentation)$575$1,010$43576 percent
I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker$700$555-$145-21 percent
I-290B Notice of Appeal or Motion$675$700$254 percent
I-360 Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant$435$450$153 percent
I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence$1,140$1,130-$10-1 percent
I-526 Immigrant Petition by Alien Investor$3,675$4,010$3359 percent
I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status (online filing)$370$390$205 percent
I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status (paper filing)$370$400$308 percent
I-765 Application for Employment Authorization (Non-DACA)$410$550$14034 percent
I-765 Application for Employment Authorization (DACA only) 6$410$410$00 percent
I-824 Application for Action on an Approved Application or Petition$465$495$306 percent
N-400 Application for Naturalization (online filing)$640$1,160$52081 percent

N-400 Application for Naturalization (paper filing)8
$53083 percent
Low income $320$850266 percent
Biometric Services (Non-DACA)9$85$30-$55-65 percent
Biometric Services (DACA only)10$85$85$00 percent

Have more questions regarding new polices or rules for international students and workers? Contact us at contact@augustnetwork.com