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USCIS to Significantly Increase Filing Fees

On August 3, 2020, USCIS issued a Final Rule, which will increase many USCIS filing fees. The Rule includes dramatic fee increases for many common petitions and applications, though some filing fees will be reduced. The new fees will be effective as of October 3, 2020. The increases are at least partially driven by well-publicized funding shortages at USCIS due to a reduction in the number of filings of petitions and applications. The higher fees will increase funding for the agency at the expense of individuals and companies that are filing applications and petitions in an unsettled immigration environment.

While the weighted average of the fee increases is just over 20%, fees for some of the most common petitions and applications will increase significantly. Form I-129, the form used to sponsor an employment visa in most visa classifications, has different fees depending on the visa classification being requested.

Impactfully, the overall cost for most Adjustment of Status (AOS) application filings will nearly double. USCIS will no longer bundle the AOS filing fee with the Employment Authorization Document (EAD) and Advance Parole (AP)/Travel Document filing fees. As a result, instead of a filing fee of $1,225 for all three applications as a bundle, the fees for an initial filing of an AOS, plus EAD and AP filing fees, will total $2,270 (an increase of just over 85%).

Filing Fee Changes

Below are the filing fee changes for petitions and applications. The full list of fee changes can be found in the Final Rule, starting on Page 13.

Immigration Benefit Request

Current Fee

Final Fee

Change ($)

Change (%)

I-90 Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card




-9 percent

I-129 (TN, E and other classifications)




51 percent

I-129 (H-1B)




21 percent

I-129 (L-1)




75 percent

I-129 (O-1, O-2)




53 percent

I-130 Petition for Alien Relative




5 percent

I-131 Application for Travel Document




3 percent

I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker




-21 percent

I-290B Notice of Appeal or Motion




4 percent

I-485 Application for Adjustment of Status




-1 percent*

I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status




8 percent

I-589 Application for Asylum / Withholding of Removal





I-612 Application for Waiver of Foreign Residence Requirement




-45 percent

I-751 Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence




28 percent

I-765 Application for Employment Authorization




34 percent

N-400 Application for Naturalization




83 percent

Biometric Fee




-65 percent

Adverse Impact on Low-Income Applicants

The Final Rule also adds, for the first time, a filing fee for an Asylum application and makes the process for applying for a fee waiver more difficult. USCIS will issue a revised Form I-912, Request for Fee Waiver, which will be more burdensome to complete and will likely limit the number of low-income individuals who qualify for a fee waiver.

USCIS to Issue Revised Versions of Forms

In connection to this Final Rule, USCIS will publish revised versions of a number of common forms within 30 days, including Form I-129, Form I-131, Form I-765, Form I-589, Form I-600, and as mentioned above, Form I-912.

If you have any questions regarding the filing fee increases or new USCIS forms, please contact your Mintz immigration attorney.

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John F. Quill

Member / Chair, Immigration Practice

John’s practice encompasses all aspects of immigration and nationality law. John draws on over two decades of experience to help companies and their employees obtain nonimmigrant visas, including B, E, H, J, L, O, and TN visas. He also handles applications for PERM labor certification; extraordinary ability, outstanding researcher, and national interest waiver petitions; adjustment of status procedures; consular processing; and naturalization.

Angel Feng

Special Counsel

Angel Feng is a Mintz Special Counsel whose practice focuses on immigration matters. She counsels corporations and their employees on the processing of non-immigrant and immigrant visa petitions, including H-1B, L-1A, L-1B, E-3, TN, P-1, O-1, E-1, E-2, PERM, EB-1, EB-2, and EB-3.