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:
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|
Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status is used to obtain the Green Card.
Form I-485 is used by nonimmigrant visa holders requesting to stay permanently in the U.S. To be eligible to apply all foreign nationals must be eligible to apply for a U.S. Green Card first.
Form I-485 is used by nonimmigrant visa holders requesting to stay permanently in the U.S. To be eligible to apply all foreign nationals must be eligible to apply for a U.S. Green Card, and who can do so while living in the U.S., without leaving for an overseas consular interview.
The Green Card allows its holder to live legally and work in the United States for an unlimited period of time.
Depending on your eligibility status you may be required to submit an immigration petition from any of the following:
Once the petition has been received and approved, the applicant will be able to submit Form I-485 correctly to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Subsequently, the USCIS will forward the application to the U.S. Department of State’s National Visa Center (NVC), where it will be assigned a visa number.
U.S. citizens’ direct family members: Will automatically be assigned an application number once form is received and revised.
Non-direct relatives: Due to the limited number of Visas given out each year, non-direct relatives will have an extended waiting period of time before receiving an application number. The NVC will assign your priority date, based on the date your application was received.
Concurrent Filing is when the immigrant petition and Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, are filed at the same time and mailed together with all the required filing fees and supporting documentation to the same filing location.
Concurrent filing is allowed in the following instances:
To correctly submit Form I- 485 a Green Card holder will first need to sponsor all non-direct family members by filing Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative on behalf of the applicant.
If the direct relatives applying reside outside of US territory, the NVC will directly assign a visa number to their application and forward it, along with the Green Card petition, to the local embassy or consulate. The latter will also be responsible for informing the applicants about the required steps to complete the application process.
Children under the age of 14 filing Form I-485 with at least one parent, will pay a reduced fee of $365. Children under 14, filing the form without a parent, must pay a fee of $985.
American employers are required to file Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker, on behalf of their foreign employees. You may submit Form I-485, once a visa number becomes available.
Note:Should extraordinary circumstances apply, you will automatically receive a visa number when filing Form I-140 and Form I-485 simultaneously.
The Special Immigrant status refers to:
Form I-360, Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er) or Special Immigrant must be filed by any of the categories mentioned above or by the respected qualifying institution or person, on behalf of the applicant.
Note: Due to extraordinary circumstances, members of the Armed Forces may file Form I-360 and Form I-485 simultaneously. However, due to recent legal changes made by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, Religious Workers are not allowed to file both forms concurrently.
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There is no standard answer to this question, since each case is processed based on individual circumstances.