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|
If you are in the U.S. as a temporary visitor on what’s known as a nonimmigrant visa, you may apply for an extension.
Form I-539 is used by foreign nationals who are already residing in the U.S. and who want to change, extend, initiate, or reinstate their nonimmigrant status in the U.S. without having to leave and apply for a new visa. It is commonly used by dependents of people on work visas, students, and visitors in the United States.
In certain situations, you may use this form to apply for an initial nonimmigrant status.
However, some exceptions would allow you to apply after the standard recommended time, the exceptions are as follows:
Nonimmigrants in the United States are eligible to apply for an Extension of Stay, and Change of Status Application, except those noted in Who is not eligible to file Form I-539 section below.
Spouses and unmarried children under the age of 21 may be included in the Extension of Stay or Change of Status applications as co-applicants, as long as all applicants simultaneously hold the same status or in its defect are all in derivative status.
Extensions granted to members of a family group must be for the same period of time. The shortest period granted to any member of the family shall be granted to all members of the family.
You may not be granted an extension or change of status if you were admitted under the Visa Waiver Program or if your current status is one of the following:
Exception: K-3 and K-4 visa types are eligible to apply for visa extension status. It is recommended they file for a period extension, during the processing of Form I-130 until the adjustment-of-status application is finalized.
Note: Any Nonimmigrant with an A to V-type of visa may not change their status to a K-3 of K-4 status.