People who frequently and infrequently deal with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) got an unwelcome surprise at the end of December 2016: a noticeable price hike to many of the agency’s services. In particular, the majority of petitions and applications pertaining to visas of all sorts got a 20% price increase, on average. If you need to fill out an application or document yourself soon, it is a good idea to first check these new prices so the cost doesn’t dent your pocketbook.
EB-5 petitions that experienced a price increase are:
- I-526 Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur: $3,675; increase of 145 percent
- I-924 Application for Regional Center Designation Under the Immigrant Investor Program: $6,230; increase of 186 percent
- I-924A Annual Certification of Regional Center: $3,035; increased from $0
Various immigrant applications with raised prices are:
- I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker: $700; increase of 21 percent
- I-130 Petition for Alien Relative: $535; increase of 27 percent
- I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence of Adjust Status: $1,140; increase of 16 percent
- I-751 Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence: $595; increase of 18 percent
- I-90 Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card: $455; increase of 25 percent
- USCIS Immigrant Fee: $220; increase of 33 percent
Two particular nonimmigrant applications affected:
- I-129 Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker: $460; increase of 42 percent
- I-539 Application to Extend or Change Nonimmigrant Status: $370; increase of 28 percent
Various forms with higher prices since December 2016 include:
- I-131 Application for Travel Document: $575; increase of 60 percent
- I-765 Application for Employment Authorization: $410; increase of 8 percent
- N-400 Application for Naturalization: $640; increase of 8 percent
Why the Prices Were Increased
The USCIS has stated that it needed to increase the cost of its services due to inflation and a general increase in its own operating costs. Money collection through these fees is effectively the only source of income for the USCIS. With this said, there is virtually no other way the agency could increase its revenue.
In addition to just keeping up with higher demands and volumes due to the price spikes, the USCIS will hopefully be able to expedite its schedules. More employees or better technology purchased through the higher revenue should allow the agency to handle more jobs at once, and handle each job faster than before. Hopefully this proves to be true and the people paying these higher prices will be able to experience some benefit due to them.
Do you need to file a petition or application soon? Let The Law Office of Rosina C. Stambaugh and our York immigration attorney help you figure out what one you need, what needs to be included with your petition, and where and when to file it. Otherwise, you could potentially spend money on the wrong petition and lose it all when it is denied by the USCIS.
Contact our firm for more information about filing USCIS petitions.