Friday, December 23, 2016

Holiday Gifts: Our Fees Stays the Same While USCIS Fees Increase

USCIS is increasing their filing fees across the board effective December 23, 2016. We have parsed through the fee summary charts and organized the fees into those that affect the services offered by our firm. We wanted to pass this on to our potential clients to help you plan ahead and also include a little Holiday Surprise during this time of the year.

Your Holiday Gift
We know that it may be overwhelming to cope with the increased fees from USCIS. That's why we want you to know that while USCIS fees may be increasing, our firm's fees will not be increasing this year. So, call us to get your case work into our firm! We can't promise the same for 2018.

Here is a summary of what is happening to USCIS fees for the services that we offer. We have categorized them into your purposes for filing the petitions, to provide you a more organized chart for your needs.

Family Petitions
For the most part, USCIS has not increased the filing fees related to family petitions by more than $200. Thankfully, they understand that it is hard enough for families to come up with the payment of these fees already.

Form Title Old Fees     New Fees
I-129F Petition for Alien Fiancé(e) $340 $535
I-130 Petition for Alien Relative $420 $535
I-751 Application to Remove Conditions on Residence $505 $595
I-765 Application for Employment Authorization $380 $410

Employment-Based Petitions
For the most part, filing fees for Employment-based petitions, similar to the Family Petitions, also have only increased a little over $100, staying manageable for employers, both large and small. 

Form Title Old Fees     New Fees
I-129 Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker $325 $460
I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker $580 $700

Adjusting/Changing/Extending Status 
There is also no cause for panic if you want to simply change or extend your status. This affects those that are here on temporary visitor or student visas such as B1/B2, F1, M1, or J1. Same with Adjustment of Status to that of a Permanent Resident after the USCIS has approved your family petition (I-130) or employment petition (I-140) and your priority date is current on the visa bulletin.

Form Title Old Fees     New Fees
I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status $985 $1,140
I-539 Application to Extend/change Nonimmigrant Status $290 $370

Waivers - Higher Increases
What we are concerned about for our clients is these new fees for the waivers of inadmissibility. For those of you who are not familiar with waivers, most of these require showing a exceptional to extreme level of hardship that could be suffered by a qualifying relative if the petition is not granted. By increase these fees by almost $350, it seems that USCIS is bent on adding even more "hardship" to the applicants and their relatives who are already suffering from extreme or exceptional hardship. Sympathetic to the plight of our clients, if we have to submit a waiver for your petition in 2017, we will give you a 10% discount, around $100 in savings.  

Form Title Old Fees     New Fees
I-212 Application for Permission to Reapply for Admission into the U.S. After Deportation or Removal $585 $930
I-601 Application for Waiver of Ground of Excludability $585 $930
I-601A Application for Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver $585 $630
I-612 Application for Waiver of the Foreign Residence Requirement (Under Section 212(2) of the INA, as Amended) $585 $930
I-690 Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility $200 $715

International Entrepreneurs 
For your convenience, we have also included the following chart for those thinking about utilizing the EB-5 Investors Program to become a permanent resident of the country. The filing fee for the immigrant petition has more than doubled. But otherwise, the fees affecting individual investors have stayed the same, the majority of the increase comes from regional center certifications.

Form Title Old Fees     New Fees
I-526 Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur $1,500 $3,675
I-829 Petition by Entrepreneur to Remove Conditions $3,750 $3,750
I-924 Application for Regional Center Designation Under the Immigration Investor Program $6,230 $17,795
I-924A Annual Certification of Regional Center $0 $3,035

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