DHS to Propose More Fee Increases, Make Other Changes to Filing Fees, and Increase Premium Processing Timeframe


The Department of Homeland Security will soon be publishing a notice in the Federal Register regarding its plans to increase USCIS filing fees, including changes to the way I-129 and I-485 fees are calculated. The details are below, but keep in mind this is just a proposal. It will be going through a 30-day comment period that will likely start next week. After comments are reviewed, then a final rule would be published, which may look different than this proposal. DHS indicated the fee increase may be impacted by the Supreme Court’s upcoming DACA decision as well as border wall funds that USCIS might transfer to ICE.

An important change included in the proposal is a change to the 15-day clock for premium processing which would be calculated by business days instead of calendar days.

Also notable, the I-485 filing fee would remain about the same, but would no longer include the EAD and AP. So, applicants would pay several hundred dollars more to receive the EAD and AP, and if the adjustment of status is not approved within one year, would have to pay the fees again to renew the EAD and AP. And, kids under 14 would have to pay the full amount of the I-485 filing fee instead of the current reduced amount.

Also, USCIS seeks to charge different fees for different types of I-129 petitions.

Below are some of the proposed USCIS fees:

I-129H1 I-129 H-1B –  $560  an increase of 22 percent
I-129L Petition for L Nonimmigrant Worker $815 an increase of 77 percent
I-129O Petition for O Nonimmigrant Worker $715 an increase of 55 percent
I-129 Application for Nonimmigrant Worker: E and TN Classification; and Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker: H-3, P, Q, or R Classification $705 an increase of 53 percent

I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status $400 an increase of 8 percent

I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker  $545 a decrease of 22 percent

I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status $1,120 for all applicants – a decrease of 2% for adults but an increase of 49% for kids

I-131 Application for Travel Document $585 an increase of 2 percent
I-765 Application for Employment Authorization $490 an increase of 20 percent

N-400 Application for Naturalization  $1,170 an increase of 83 percent

Biometric Services $30 a decrease of 65 percent

DHS claims that if USCIS continues to operate at current fee levels, it would experience an average annual shortfall of $1,262.3 million.

There are a host of other fee increases included in the proposal which can be found at:

Click to access 2019-24366.pdf