Following a 60-day public comment period, where the United States Customs and Immigration Service (USCIS) received 436 submissions, it was recently announced that service fees will increase starting December 23, 2016.
The fees collected by USCIS fund their activities associated with the administration of the Nation’s Immigration laws, fraud detection and national security, as well as, customer service, case processing, and providing services without charge to refugee and asylum applicants and other clients eligible for fee waivers or exemptions.
The fee increases average around twenty-one percent and are the first in six years for most applications and petitions. Examples of some of the new fees are:
- The Application for Naturalization, Form N-400 fee is increasing $45, or eight percent, from $595 to $640.
- The Application for Citizenship and Issuance of Certificate under Section 322, Form N-600, and for the Issuance of a Certificate under Section 322, Form N-600K, will increase $550 or $600 to $1,170.
- The Application for Annual Certification of a Regional Center, Form I-924A, requires a new fee totaling $3,035.
USCIS also announced a reduction in the fee for naturalization applicants with incomes between $36,000 and $48,000, who may be eligible for a $320 fee reduction by applying through a new Form I-942, Request for Reduced Fee.
In making the announcement about the fee increases, Leon Rodriguez, Director of the USCIS said, “This is our first fee increase since November 2010, and we are mindful of the effect fee increases have on many of the customers we serve. That’s why we decided against raising fees as recommended after the fiscal year 2012 and 2014 fee reviews.” Rodriguez continued, “However, as an agency dependent upon users’ fees to operate, these changes are now necessary to ensure we can continue to serve our customers effectively.”
The new fees are listed on the Filing Fees page of the USCIS website and they must be included on all applications and petitions postmarked or filed after December 22, 2016. If the new fees are not paid, the applications will be rejected by USCIS.