The Department of Homeland Security said it would increase the fee to apply for U.S. citizenship by 81% to $1,160 and impose a fee for the first time to apply for asylum, according to a filing in the Federal Register on Friday.
The fee increases, proposed last year, come as the government agency that handles applications faces a budget shortfall and are the latest in a string of rule changes making it tougher for low-income people to immigrate legally or become U.S. citizens.
“DHS is adjusting USCIS fees by a weighted average increase of 20 percent to help recover its operational costs. Current fees would leave the agency underfunded by about $1 billion per year,” USCIS said in a statement.
Fees make up nearly 97 percent of the agency’s budget.
Reacting to the development, Orlando based Immigration Attorney, Nayef Mubarak said one of the biggest changes is the removal of many reduced fees for children under-14 and lower income people.
“If someone is seeking a permanent resident application, typically their children under the age of 14 will have a fee less than $400 of their own,” Mubarak said. “Now, they’re all required to pay the new fee even for children under 14 for permanent resident applications is an additional fee of about $400.”
The current fee for children under 14 is $750 for a permanent resident application and without the reduced fee it is $1,130.
Another change is the 81 percent fee increase for naturalization application. Currently it’s $640 and $320 with a reduced fee, but with the new fee changes it’s $1,170.
Mubarak said the changes to work visas could deter U.S. businesses foreign businesses from moving stateside.
“One that I found interesting was the L-1 Visa and the reason I found it interesting is because it’s gone up 75 percent,” Mubarak said. “Moreover, the L-1 Visas are typically for foreign companies who seek to open new offices in the U.S. and typically that leads to employment for U.S. Citizens and residents.”
He also said it could deter U.S. businesses from hiring foreign workers.
“Employers have noticed the changes to fees as well so many obstacles that employers find are the fees associated to the non-immigrant petitions,” Mubarak said. “I think that’s just going to add to their concerns when they consider whether or not to hire a foreign worker.”
The changes take effect on October 2, 2020.
Find a full list of the fee changes below:
List of immigration benefit request fees for USCIS forms
According to USCIS’ final rule, these are the new immigration and naturalization forms that will be subjected to fee increases:
▪ I-130, Petition for Alien Relative
Current fee: $535. Final Fee: $560 ($550 for online filing). Percentage change: 5% (3%).
▪ I-131, Application for Travel Document
For an individual age 16 or older:
Current fee: $135. Final Fee: $145. Percentage change: 7%.
For a child under the age of 16:
Current fee: $105. Final Fee: $115. Percentage change: 10%
▪ I-131A, Application for Travel Document (Carrier Documentation)
Current fee: $575. Final Fee: $1,010. Percentage change: 76%.
▪ I-192, Application for Advance Permission to Enter as Nonimmigrant
Current fee: $585. Final Fee: $1,400. Percentage change: 139%.
▪ I-193, Application for Waiver of Passport and/or Visa
Current fee: $585. Final Fee: $2,790. Percentage change: 377%.
▪ I-212, Application for Permission to Reapply for Admission into the United States After Deportation or Removal
Current fee: $930. Final Fee: $1,050. Percentage change: 13%.
▪ I-290B, Notice of Appeal or Motion
Current fee: $675. Final Fee: $700. Percentage change: 4%.
▪ I-360, Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant
Current fee: $435. Final Fee: $450. Percentage change: 3%.
▪ I-526, Immigrant Petition by Alien Investor
Current fee: $3,675. Final Fee: $4,010. Percentage change: 9%.
▪ I-539, Application To Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status
Current fee: $370. Final Fee: $400 ($390 for online filing). Percentage change: 8% (5%).
▪ I-589, Application for Asylum and for Withholding of Removal
Current fee: $0. Final Fee: $50. Percentage change: N/A.
▪ I-600, Petition to Classify Orphan as Immediate Relative
Current fee: $775. Final Fee: $805. Percentage change: 4%.
▪ I-601, Application for Waiver of Ground of Inadmissibility
Current fee: $930. Final Fee: $1,010. Percentage change: 9%.
▪ I-601A, Application for Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver
Current fee: $630. Final Fee: $960. Percentage change: 52%.
▪ I-690, Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility
Current fee: $715. Final Fee: $765. Percentage change: 7%.
▪ I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence
Current fee: $595. Final Fee: $760. Percentage change: 28%.
▪ I-765, Application for Employment Authorization
Current fee: $410. Final Fee: $550. Percentage change: 34%.
▪ I-824, Application for Action on an Approved Application or Petition
Current fee: $465. Final Fee: $495. Percentage change: 6%.
▪ I-881, Application for Suspension of Deportation or Special Rule Cancellation of Removal
Current fee: $285. Final Fee: $1,810. Percentage change: 535%.
▪ I-924A, Annual Certification of Regional Center
Current fee: $3,035. Final Fee: $4,465. Percentage change: 47%.
▪ I-929, Petition for Qualifying Family Member of a U-1 Nonimmigrant (Victims of Criminal Activity)
Current fee: $230. Final Fee: $1,485. Percentage change: 546%.
▪ N-300, Application to File Declaration of Intention
Current fee: $270. Final Fee: $1,305. Percentage change: 383%.
▪ N-336, Request for a Hearing on a Decision in Naturalization Proceedings
Current fee: $700. Final Fee: $1,735 ($1,725 for online filing). Percentage change: 148% (146%).
▪ N-400, Application for Naturalization
Current fee: $640. Final Fee: $1,170 ($1,160 if filed online). Percentage change: 83% (81%).
▪ N-470, Application to Preserve Residence for Naturalization Purposes
Current fee: $355. Final Fee: $1,585. Percentage change: 346%.
▪ G-1041, Genealogy Index Search Request
Current fee: $65. Final Fee: $170 ($160 for online filing). Percentage change: 162% (146%).
▪ G-1041A, Genealogy Records Request
Current fee: $65. Final Fee: $265 ($255 for online filing). Percentage change: 308% (292%).