Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced a final rule that would adjust fees for certain immigration and naturalization benefit requests

July 31, 2020

Recently, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced a final rule that would adjust fees for certain immigration and naturalization benefit requests to ensure U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recovers its costs of services.

A recent USCIS fee review determined that current fees do not recover the cost of providing adjudication and naturalization services. Since current fees would leave the agency underfunded by about $1 billion per year, the DHS is increasing USCIS fees by 20 percent to help recover its operational costs. The USCIS deputy director for policy stated that the overdue adjustments in fees were necessary to efficiently and fairly administer the nation’s immigration system, secure the homeland, and protect Americans.

The rule will increase costs to adjudicate immigration benefit requests, detect immigration fraud, and thoroughly vet applicants, petitioners, and beneficiaries. The rule will also remove certain fee exemptions, include new nominal fees for asylum applicants, and reduce fee waivers to recover the costs of adjudication. Since online filing is the most cost-effective way to submit a request with the USCIS, the rule will provide a $10 reduction fee for applicants who submit forms electronically.

The final rule will be effective Oct. 2, 2020, and any application, petition, or request postmarked on or after this date must include the new fees. For more information on the full list of changes, please see the final rule.