DHS Proposes Increase to USCIS Filing Fees
The Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) has proposed an increase in filing fees for certain petitions and applications filed with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”). USCIS is funded primarily by fees charged to applicants and petitioners. The agency conducted a comprehensive fee review and determined that current fees do not recover the full costs of the services it provides. If approved, the proposed increase would have a relatively modest impact on the overall cost of common employment-based immigration filings. For example, the total filing fees required for a new H-1B petition filed with premium processing for most employers would increase from $3,550 to $3,685 (about 4%). The filing fees required for an I-140 immigrant petition filed with regular processing would increase from $580 to $700 (about 17%); and the filing fees for an I-485 adjustment of status application would increase from $985 to $1,140 (about 13.5%). The proposed rule was published in the Federal Register on May 4, 2016, and public comments will be accepted through July 5, 2016. The proposed increase will not take effect unless and until it clears the administrative rule-making process, which typically takes several months. We will provide an update on the status of the proposed fee increase when it becomes available.