Mark A Ivener, A Law Corporation

USCIS Proposes Changes in Fees, Large New Fee for EB-5 Regional Center Applications

A new proposed fee rule would increase the average application and petition fees by a “weighted average” of approximately 10 percent, and would establish a hefty new fee of $6,230 for an application for regional center designation under the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Pilot Program.

“Understanding the unique importance of naturalization,” U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) said it is not proposing a naturalization application fee increase. The proposed rule would establish several other new fees, however, including for individuals seeking civil surgeon designation ($615) and recovery of the cost of processing immigrant visas granted by the Department of State ($165). Among others, the Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker (Form I-140) fee would increase from $475 to $580; the Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker (Form I-129) fee would increase from $320 to $325; and the Application for Employment Authorization (Form I-765) fee would increase from $340 to $380.

The rule also proposes to raise the fee for premium processing from $1,000 to $1,225, calculated by using the percentage increase in inflation according to the Consumer Price Index for urban consumers (CPI-U) since the fee’s inception in 2001. The final rule will establish the amount based upon the latest published monthly CPI before the final rule publication. DHS also proposes to specify that it will use the CPI–U to calculate all future inflation-based fee adjustments and will publish a notice in the Federal Register annually (if applicable) to adjust this fee.

The proposed fee structure reduces fees for several individual applications and petitions, including the Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status (Form I-539) and the Application to Adjust Status From Temporary To Permanent Resident (Form I-698).

Written comments must be submitted by July 26, 2010, using a method set forth in the proposed rule.

  • The proposed fee rule is available (PDF).
  • USCIS’s announcement, which includes a table of current and proposed fees (site).
  • A related Q&A is available (site).
  • A transcript of USCIS’s related press conference (PDF).

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About the Author

Mark A. Ivener, A Law Corporation, a nationally recognized law firm, has successfully assisted hundreds of clients in immigration matters.