US Immigration update: USCIS Filing Fee Increase Temporarily Blocked. Apply Before Fees Increase.


On October 1st, 2020, a US Federal Court temporarily stopped the nationwide implementation of USCIS’ increase in fees, which was scheduled to become effective starting October 2, 2020.

Applicants still have a chance to save hundreds of dollars in USCIS fees —before the temporary halt is lifted.

To save on USCIS fees:

  1. Complete your N-400 or I-765 Form today
  2. Send your application package to USCIS as soon as possible

These 2 steps allow applicants to take advantage of current USCIS fees before they experience a dramatic increase —which is currently on hold.

Waiting to submit immigration forms will cost applicants hundreds of dollars more once the halt in USCIS fee increases is lifted. USCIS is likely to appeal to the 9th Circuit Court to get the fee increases pushed through.

USCIS Deputy Director of Policy Joseph Edlow issued a response to the temporary block stating that USCIS was “underfunded by millions of dollars each business day the fee rule is enjoined” and that “current fees do not recover the cost of providing adjudication and naturalization services”.

This statement clearly indicates that the USCIS fee increase will come into effect sooner rather than later and makes applying now the only way to secure the current fees.

Immigration Form Current fees Fees after increase halt is lifted Savings when you apply today
N-400 US Citizenship $640 $1,170 $530
I-765 EAD $410 $550 $140

Family-Based Green Card for Husband or Wife - I-130 Form

You have to prove that there is a family relationship between you and your spouse. You will have to show U.S. immigration officials clear, credible, and understandable evidence of your familial relationship. The process varies depending on whether you (the sponsor) is a US citizen or a Green Card holder.

Family-Based Green Card through Marriage to a U.S. Citizen

Sponsoring a spouse for a Green Card is both faster and easier for U.S. citizens.

Once Form I-130 is accepted, a visa number becomes immediately available, which means that there is no waiting period between the time you submit your application and your husband or wife getting a visa number. Therefore you may also simultaneously file Form I-485, Permanent Resident Application to have his/her status adjusted to Permanent Resident. If your spouse does not reside in the U.S., the NVC will send your petition along with their visa number to the recipients’ local U.S. Consulate or Embassy with detailed instructions on how to complete the Visa process.

Family-Based Green Card through Marriage to a Legal Permanent Resident

While, U.S. Legal Permanent Residents, may also sponsor their sponsor their spouse for a Green Card, the process takes considerably longer than for U.S. Citizens because a visa number will not become immediately available.

Once Form I-130 is accepted, spouses of Green Card holders will have to wait for their priority date, since visas are assigned in the chronological order in which the petitions were filed. The filing date becomes the applicant’s priority date. Once the date is current, a visa number will become available, and the beneficiary can apply for a visa or to adjust his or her status.

To check the status of the current priority date, please see the Visa Bulletin published monthly by the US Department of State.

K-1 Visa and Family-Based Green Card through Marriage

US citizens may also consider the K-1 visa, or Fiancé(e) visa, or Form I-129F, which allows a foreign citizen to legally enter the U.S with the purpose of marrying a U.S. citizen within a period of 90 days.

The K-1 Visa allows the visa holder to enter the United States and file for Adjustment of Status to obtain a Green Card and become a Legal Permanent Resident. After filing for Adjustment of Status, they may reside in the US beyond the 90 day K-1 Visa validity while their Adjustment of Status application is processed.

To correctly file this petition, you must meet the requirements set by the U.S. Government and provide evidence of the relationship, and that both you and your fiancé(e) will enter the marriage in good faith.

Family-Based Green Card for Husband or Wife Evidence

To correctly sponsor your husband or wife, you must also provide evidence of your U.S. Citizenship or Permanent Residency.

Documents that can prove your U.S. Citizenship:

  • Birth certificate
  • Naturalization certificate or certificate of citizenship
  • Form FS-240, Report of Birth Abroad of a Citizen of the United States
  • Valid US passport
  • Original statement from US consular officer verifying your citizenship

Documents that can prove Permanent Residency:

  • A copy of your permanent resident card (front and back)
  • A copy of the biographic page of your passport (with your name, photo and expiration date clearly visible)
  • A copy of your I-94 card

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