On September 23, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it will be adjusting fees for most immigration applications. Fees will increase by a weighted average of about 10 percent.
The fee increase is the most recent of several increases over the last several years – as USCIS strives to generate additional revenue and the number of applications submitted each year continues to decline.
Critics point out that the frequent fee increases have not been accompanied by any improvement in customer service on the part of USCIS and that USCIS has taken no meaningful measures to streamline its budget. In addition, those who favor immigration to stimulate economic prosperity have pointed out that continuing to raise fees will have an adverse affect on the desirability of applying for permission to come to the U.S., or remain here permanently.
Not all fees have increased. The Form N-400, Citizenship Application fee remains the same at $595. Certain filing fees have been reduced, including Form I-129F, K-1 Fiance(e) Petition, Form I-539, Application to Extend Nonimmigrant Status, and Form N-565, Application for a Certificate of Citizenship.
The fee changes will take affect on November 23. If you are planning to file an application with USCIS, you should take steps to get your application filed as soon as possible before November 23, unless you are one of the limited number of applicants for whom the adjustment will represent a decrease in fees.