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Be Advised That the New USCIS Fee Schedule Is Now In Force

Be Advised That the New USCIS Fee Schedule Is Now In Force

As you may know, the USCIS proposed a new fee schedule for 2024. That fee schedule, the first produced by the USCIS since 2016, went into effect on April 1. Most immigration forms requiring an application fee are subject to the new fees if postmarked on or after April 1.

It now costs more to file an immigration application. That much was expected. However, USCIS also implemented several significant changes along with the higher fees. We will outline the new fees and the most important changes below. If you have any questions about how the new fees or rules might affect your visa application, Graham Adair business immigration attorneys would be happy to help you figure things out.

A Summary of the New Fees

Looking over the new fee schedule reveals a missing component: biometrics fees. That is because USCIS will not be charging those fees separately. Instead, the biometrics fee is now rolled into the standard fee for each type of application.

For example, the old fee schedule for N-400 included a $640 application fee and a biometrics fee of $85 for a total of $725. The new, all-inclusive fee is $760. Likewise, the combined I-485 fee of $1,225 was increased to a single $1,440 fee as of April 1.

In a series of FAQs regarding the new fee schedule, the USCIS made it clear that most of the fee increases are limited to “no more than the increase in the Consumer Price Index since 2016, which is 26%. Many such fees will increase by well under 26%.” This essentially means that the fees were adjusted for inflation.

A Summary of the New Rules

As for the new rules accompanying fee increases, rolling biometric fees in with standard fees is just the start. Applicants should also be aware that more types of applications now qualify for automatic fee exemption. These include applications for special immigrant juveniles, human trafficking victims, and those subject to domestic violence. No waiver application is necessary.

Additional rule changes include the following:

  • Temporary Protected Status applicants will be an exception to the biometric fee change. They will still pay a separate $30 fee.
  • Rule changes will now allow a larger number of low-income applicants to get a 50% discount on application fees.
  • Filing applications online could mean a $50 discount. However, not all applications can be filed online at this time.

There are other rule changes the time and space will not allow us to deal within this post. Needless to say, there is a lot to know and learn about immigration application fees. It is yet another reason to work with an experienced immigration attorney.

Why Fees Have Gone Up

It is worth noting why USCIS has implemented their new fee schedule. It boils down to administrative costs. The government agency is funded almost exclusively by application fees. Their costs have gone up just like everyone else’s. The fact that they have managed to toe the line for the better part of eight years is noteworthy. But in the end, the USCIS needs additional funding to do what it does.

If you have any questions about business immigration or need help navigating the system, Graham Adair immigration attorneys stand ready to assist. Business immigration is our specialty. We can help you complete paperwork, prepare supporting documentation, and even understand a complicated filing fee system. Given the complex nature of U.S. immigration law, working with an experienced attorney is your best bet for successfully getting through the system.

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