The Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) generates most of its revenues through the filing fees it charges applicants for the filing and processing of fees. These filing fees cover the majority of administrative costs associated with USCIS processing of the applications. Not all USCIS application forms come with filing fees. However, those that do are subject to fee increases.
As of Tuesday, Nov. 23, 2010, a new USCIS fee schedule will be in place. This means that petitions and applications with new filing fees which are filed or postmarked on or after Tuesday, Nov. 23, 2010 will need to be paid using the new fee schedule. On average, the new fee schedule increases most application fees by about 10%. Applications which are submitted with inadequate or older fees will likely be rejected or delayed, so it is very important for applicants to carefully review the latest filing fees on the USCIS website to ensure that they are enclosing the correct fee with each application.
Not all application fees will increase after November 2010. Most non-immigrant related visa applications and immigration visa applications will see fee increase but some visa fees will decrease. As well, under the new fee schedule, additional fee exemptions and waivers will be granted for some applicants filing Application for Travel Document (Form I-131), Notice of Appeal or Motion (Form I-290B), and William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008 benefits. Fees will be reduced for Petition for Alien Fiancé (Form I-129F), Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status (Form I-539), Application to Adjust Status from Temporary to Permanent Resident (Form I-698), Application for Family Unity Benefits (Form I-817), Application for Replacement Naturalization/Citizenship Document (Form N-565), and for some applicants filing Application for Travel Document (Form I-131).
Many application fees will see a significant increase, however. For example, Form I-90 (Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card) will have a filing fee of $365 instead of the previous $290. Filing fees for Form I-129F (Petition for Alien Fiancé(e)) will increase to $455 from $340. Applicants filing Form I-687 (Application for Status as a Temporary Resident under Sections 245A or 210 of the Immigration and Nationality Act) will pay filing fees of $1,130 after 23 November 2010, instead of the previous fee of $710. The fee for Form I-694 (Notice of Appeal of Decision under Sections 245A or 210 of the Immigration and Nationality Act) will increase from $545 to $755 while the filing fee for Form I-829 (Petition by Entrepreneur to Remove Conditions) will jump from $2,850 to $3,750.