USCIS Issues Updates to Final Fee Rule

September 10, 2020

USCIS has updated their regulations regarding fees, fee exemptions, waiver policies, premium processing time limits, which we will summarize. All below changes will come into effect on October 2, 2020. The full announcement of the final fee rule from USCIS can be found here.

 

Background

The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) authorizes the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to charge fees for adjudication and naturalization services at a level to “ensure recovery of the full costs of providing all such services, including the costs of similar services provided without charge to asylum applicants or other immigrants.” As required by federal law, USCIS conducted a comprehensive biennial fee review and determined that current fees do not recover the cost of providing adjudication and naturalization services.

 

Premium Processing

The rule updates the premium processing time frame from 15 calendar days to 15 business days and explains that the additional fee for this service may be adjusted for inflation according to the Consumer Price Index (CPI) by notice in the Federal Register. It further provides that USCIS will refund certain premium processing fees if USCIS does not complete the adjudication within the guaranteed time frame (that is, 15 business days).

 

I-129 Form

The I-129 form also will change as of October 2, 2020. The form I-129 will be separated into the following forms: o

  • Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker: H-1B or H-1B1 Classifications (Form I-129H1)
  • Petitions for H-2A and H-2B Workers (Forms I-129H2A and I-129H2B)
  • Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker: L Classification (Form I-129L)
  • Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker: O Classification (Form I-129O)
  • Application for Nonimmigrant Worker: E and TN Classification (Form I-129E&TN)
  • Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker: H-3, P, Q, or R Classification (Form I-129MISC)

 

Adjustment of Status

New regulation provides that an applicant under the age of 14 years who is filing a concurrent adjustment application with a parent must also submit the fee in the full amount as specified in the form instructions.  Adjustment applicants who paid a filing fee as a principal applicant for their Application for Asylum and for Withholding of Removal (Form I-589) and were subsequently granted asylum will pay a lower fee for the adjustment application.

 

If you have any questions regarding your case please find our up to date contact information here. Our attorneys and staff will be happy to help you with any concerns you may have regarding your case and the ways these changes may affect them.

 


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