USCIS filing fees for common applications will rise substantially on Oct 3rd

On August 3rd USCIS announced new filing fees which will be effective as of October 3rd. While a few of the application fees will be slightly reduced, filing fees for Naturalization and Adjustment of Status to Permanent residence will be substantially increased.

The current filing fees for a Naturalization petition including the required biometrics fee is $ 725 per person. The new fees will be $ 1200 per person. That means that for two spouses to file for naturalization, the filing fees with biometrics will be $ 2400!

To file for Adjustment of Status (AOS) – which means to file for permanent residence while in the U.S., the increases are substantial but a bit complicated. Most often AOS cases are filed for spouses of U.S. citizens.  Currently the filing fee for AOS (including a relative petition, an application for work authorization, an application for travel permission and biometrics) is $ 1760.  As of October 3rd, this same application will rise to $ 2860 per person. This does not include children of the applicant who must pay separate filing fees. While in some cases, we can reduce the fees a bit by not filing for work authorization or not filing for travel permission, many applicants will be paying a total fee which is $ 1000 more.

Most applications are filed by U.S. postal service mail which means that we must be concerned about the recent delays in mail service. The applications must be received before Oct 3rd. Mailing it with the current fees before Oct 3rd and having the mail delayed until after Oct 3rd will result in the application being rejected for improper fees. I will be advising clients to pay a little extra to send applications by FedEx or another delivery service. This is especially true given that many Vote by Mail ballots will be mailed around this time further slowing the mail. From what we have seen so far, there is no desire on the part of the administration to solve the current slowdown in mail delivery.

We advise that people who are eligible for Naturalization but have not yet filed, should start work on this immediately. The same goes for the AOS, permanent resident applications. You should be working now on getting applications filed as soon as possible.

Linda M Kaplan
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