Increase in USCIS Filing Fees Will Take Effect December 23, 2016

On October 24, 2016, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) announced a final rule increasing the fees for certain petitions and applications filed with USCIS. The final rule will take effect December 23, 2016. As described in our earlier alert, this increase will have a relatively minor impact on the overall cost of employment-based immigration filings, such as H-1B nonimmigrant and I-140 immigrant petitions, as well as I-485 adjustment of status and related applications. Specifically, the total filing fees required for a new H-1B petition filed with premium processing will increase from $3,550 to $3,685; the filing fees required for an I-140 immigrant petition filed with regular processing will increase from $580 to $700; and the filing fees required for an I-485 adjustment of status application will increase from $985 to $1,140. 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 and therefore proposed to increase fees by a weighted average of 21%. Based on this review, the Department of Homeland Security ("DHS") proposed the increase in filing fees in May 2014. The proposed rule was open for public comments through July and ultimately cleared the administrative rule-making process. A complete chart listing USCIS’ current and future fees is available here.

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