On July 31, 2020, USCIS announced a final rule adjusting fees for certain immigration and naturalization benefits. The increase in fees is in response to recover costs of services for USCIS as the agency is experiencing a lack of funding.
Why does USCIS have to increase fees?
USCIS is fee funded, meaning the fees collected fund nearly 97% of USCIS’ budget. Recently USCIS conducted a comprehensive biennial fee review, which they are federally required to do, and they determined that based on their current fees, they are not recovering the costs in services provided. Therefore, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) decided to adjust USCIS fees by a weighted average increase of 20% to help recover operational costs, otherwise the agency would be underfunded by about $1 billion per year.
When will the increase happen?
Although this decision was announced on July 31, the rule will not take effect until October 2, 2020. This means that any application, petition, or request postmarked on or after this date must include payment of the new fees established by this final rule. For a full list of changes and a complete table of final fees, see the final rule.
For any questions or concerns about how this may impact you, please feel free to contact us at Berardi Immigration Law today!