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Government Fees for Immigration Benefits Going Up on October 2, 2020

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently announced the new application filing fees that will go in effect on October 2, 2020.  While a few of the applications will see a reduction in fees, most applications and petitions for immigration status or immigration benefits will see a fee increase, some almost double the current fee. 

We strongly encourage eligible individuals who plan to submit an immigration application in the coming months to consider doing so before the new fee schedule goes into effect, if the fee for their respective application is expected to go up.

Here are the new fees that will go into effect on October 2, 2020, for some of the more common application types:

N-400 Application for Naturalization

This application is filed by eligible permanent residents (green card holders) in order to become U.S. citizens.

Current fee: $640

New fee: $1,170

I-765 Application for Employment Authorization

This application is filed by individuals seeking temporary work authorization in connection with a separate underlying status, deferred action, authorized stay, or pending adjustment of status application (among other categories).

Current fee: $410

New fee: $550 (non-DACA)/$410 (DACA)

I-131 Application for Travel Document

This application is filed by individuals seeking temporary authorization to travel abroad.

Current fee, except refugee: $575

New fee: $590

Current fee, refugee age 16 and up: $135

New fee: $145

Current fee, refugee under 16 years old: $105

New fee: $115

I-485 Application to Adjust Status to Permanent Residence

This application is filed by eligible immigrants to obtain permanent residence (green card). 

Current fee: $1,140, which includes the fee for interim/temporary work authorization (Form I-765) and travel authorization (Form I-131)

New fee: $2,270 including work and travel authorization (or $1,130 if the applicant does not wish to work legally or travel abroad while the application is pending)

Therefore, under the new fee structure starting October 2, 2020, green card applicants will have to pay almost double if they want to be able to work in the U.S. and travel abroad while they are waiting for the permanent residence application to be decided, which can take well over a year in many cases. 

Moreover, the employment and travel authorization cards (EAD cards) based on a pending adjustment of status are normally issued in one-year increments.  If the I-485 Application remains pending for more than a year, the applicants would have to pay $550 for employment authorization (I-765) and $590 for travel authorization (I-131), respectively, each year that the I-485 Application remains pending if they wish to continue to be able to work and/or travel.   For instance, if an I-485 Application remains pending for five years (which can happen due to quotas, processing backlogs, or complicated case scenarios), the applicant would have to pay almost $7,000 in government fees alone, in order to be able to work legally and travel back home to visit family, while waiting for the green card to be approved.

I-129 Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker

This petition is generally filed by employers to sponsor foreign workers for temporary work visas.  Currently, the I-129 Form has the same base fee for all types of visas falling under this form.  Under the new fee structure, there will be different base fees depending on the type of work visa being sought. 

Current fee for all types of work visas under Form I-129: $460

New fees:

  • H-1B: $555
  • H-2A: $850 (named beneficiary)
  • H-2A: $415 (unnamed beneficiaries)
  • H-2B: $715 (named beneficiary)
  • H-2B: $385 (unnamed beneficiaries)
  • L-1: $805
  • O-1: $705
  • Treaty (E, TN, etc.): $695


I-90 Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card

This application is filed by green card holders seeking to replace a lost, stolen or damaged card, or to extend the validity of an expiring card.

Current fee: $455

New fee: $415

I-751 Petition to Remove Conditions of Residence

This petition is filed by permanent residents who obtained their status through marriage to a U.S. citizen before the second wedding anniversary.

Current fee: $595

New fee: $760

I-129F Petition for Alien Fiance(e)

This petition is filed by U.S. citizens seeking to sponsor a foreign fiancé(e) for a K-1 visa.

Current fee: $535

New fee: $510

I-130 Petition for Alien Relative

This petition is filed by U.S. citizens or permanent residents to classify qualifying family members for permanent residence.  This petition does not by itself confer immigration status, but it is necessary to make an intended immigrant qualified to file for permanent residence.  Therefore, the fee for this petition is generally in addition to the fee(s) required for the I-485 Application to Adjust Status discussed above (or for consular processing if the I-485 Application is not applicable)

Current fee: $535

New fee: $560

I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker

The petition is filed by employers who wish to sponsor employees for permanent residence, or by immigrants with advanced degrees seeking a national interest waiver (NIW) or immigrants who have extraordinary ability in their field (among other categories).

Current fee: $700

New Fee: $555


I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status

This application is filed by individuals who hold valid temporary status, in order to extend their validity period or change to anther temporary legal status.

Current fee: $370

New fee: $400

I-589 Application for Asylum and for Withholding of Removal

This application is filed by individuals present in the U.S. or who present themselves at the border or a legal port of entry and who express fear of persecution based on political opinion, religious belief, national origin, or membership in a particular social group if returned to their home country.

Current fee: $0.00

New fee: $50

I-601A Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver

This application is filed by intended immigrants who must depart the U.S. and apply for an immigrant visa at a consulate abroad, but whose departure would trigger the three or ten-year bar from readmission due to prior unlawful presence.

Current fee: $630

New fee: $960

Biometric fee

This fee is usually charged for all applications that require a background check, such as applications for permanent residence, employment or travel authorization, among others.  This fee is charged in addition to the fees associated with the actual applications for benefits.

Current fee: $85

New fee: $30 (non-DACA); $85 (DACA).

These are only some of the applications needed to obtain immigration benefits in the U.S., and the base filing fees associated with them.  A comprehensive list of all application and petition fee changes is included in the official government’s final rule.

We will continue to monitor the implementation of the new fee schedule and will provide updates as needed.  For any questions regarding to immigration benefits or applications in the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact us at (608) 252-9291 or rvo@dewittllp.com.  

About the Author

Raluca Vais-Ottosen has assisted numerous clients with Immigration matters ranging from family-based and individual Immigration applications, to employment related visas and I-9 employment eligibility verification issues. In addition to her Immigration practice, she also has an extensive background in Employment Law. She assists companies in a number of areas, including but not limited to claims of workplace discrimination, harassment and retaliation, termination and constructive discharge, workplace investigations by State and Federal agencies, as well as Employment Litigation.

Contact Luca by email or by phone at (608) 252-9291.

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