USCIS Announces Final Rule Adjusting Fees for Immigration Benefits

On September 23, 2010 The U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced a final rule to adjust fees for immigration applications and petitions effective November 23. Due to USCIS’s large differential between costs and expected revenue, the final rule is necessary to bridge this gap. It will increase overall cost by an average of approximately 10 percent but doesn’t increase the cost for the naturalization application. With the USCIS being a primarily fee based organization it is required to conduct fee reviews every two years and the final rule wraps up the review that began in 2009.

Other new fees included in the final rule include: regional center designations under the Immigration Investor (EB-5) Pilot Program, civil surgeon designation, recovery of USCIS costs to process visas granted. Certain applications are also now applicable for fee reduction and new availability due to the final rule. Furthermore the final plan eliminates fees completely for armed forces members and veterans who wish to file an application for naturalization, application for certificates of citizenship, and requests for hearing on a decision in naturalization proceedings. Due the large amount of public remark over the final rule, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) allowed for a 45 day comment period after its release and received 225 comments. For further information about the public comments or the details of the final rule visit USCIS and the Federal Registrar.