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Increased USCIS fees to take effect October 2

On September 2, 2020, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published its final rule on fee increases. This means that all petitions and applications received by USCIS by October 2, 2020 must have the new filing fees attached.

Eligible applicants for naturalization to U.S. citizenship must plan on filing their applications in time prior to the effective date of the new filing fees. The N-400 Form, Application for Naturalization, carries the highest increase in filing fee from $640 to $1,170. That is an 83% increase.

Although the waiver of fees for certain applicants may still be requested, USCIS reserves the right to exercise its discretion to limit the fee waivers. There will be changes in the income requirements for a fee waiver from 150 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines to 125 percent. Lowering the percentage means those who may have qualified before may no longer obtain a waiver if their income is higher than 125 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines.

Those individuals who are being petitioned by their U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident parent, child or spouse and are eligible to adjust status will also have to pay increased fees. There will be no more reduced fees for children under 14 years of age for adjustment applicants. The standard fee of $1,130 will be applied across the board to all adjustment applicants.

Prior to these changes, there is no fee on employment authorization documents if filed simultaneously with the application for adjustment of status. With the recent changes, USCIS now requires separate fees for employment authorization documents (Form I-765) which will be $550. That is from $0 to $550. Likewise, applications for advance parole (Form I-131) will have a fee of $590.

Other filing fees for other applications will also be increased. (See USCIS.gov website for more information on increased fees.)

For applicants who are just waiting to naturalize or adjust and have all the legal requirements, they should consider filing their applications or petitions as soon as possible, or before October 2, 2020.

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