The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently announced a new fee structure that significantly increases filing fees.
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently announced a new fee structure that significantly increases filing fees. The USCIS is raising its fees for most immigration benefit applications and petitions, including nonimmigrant worker petitions and applications to adjust status to obtain permanent residency (a “Green Card”). The new fees apply to all cases filed on or after July 30, 2007.
Temporary Workers: Petitions for a Nonimmigrant Worker (Form I-129) – which are used by employers to sponsor temporary workers – will require a $320 filing fee (up from the current fee of $190). Employers still must pay the additional fees associated with the H-1B, H-2B and L-1 classifications (the special education and training fee, as well as the fraud prevention and detection fee), which remain unchanged.
Immigrant Workers: The filing fee for employers to sponsor employees for permanent residency (Form I-140) will increase to $475 (up from the current fee of $195). One of the more significant changes in the new rule is that the increased fee for Applications to Adjust Status (Form I-485) will cover future interim benefits, such as employment and travel authorization. Under the current fee structure, applicants filing Form I-485 must pay separate fees for employment or travel authorization if needed while the Form I-485 application is pending.
Decrease in Processing Times Expected: The agency predicts that revenue from the new fee structure will result in a 20 percent reduction in average processing times by the end of fiscal year 2009.
Employers' Bottom Line:
The new fee structure is effective July 30, 2007. Employers who know they will need to file immigration applications or petitions in the near future should consider taking action now, before the increase takes effect. If you have questions regarding the new fee schedule or other employment-related immigration issues, please contact a member of Ford & Harrison’s Business Immigration Practice Group or Charles Roach, 612-486-1631 or Geetha Nadiminti, 404-888-3940.