On January 3, 2023, U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) announced a proposed rule that would raise the filing fees required for many applications and petitions, some significantly. According to USCIS, the increased fees would allow the agency “to more fully recover its operating costs, reestablish and maintain timely case processing, and prevent the accumulation of future case backlogs.” The fees would come in the form of increases to existing fees, as well as the imposition of new fees, such as a new Asylum Program Fee that would force petitioning employers to bear some of the costs of USCIS’s asylum application processing.
The proposed rule would also incorporate biometrics fees into the filing fee (biometrics fees are currently separate fees that are paid concurrently with filing fees), create specific fees for each nonimmigrant category, change the guaranteed processing time under the Premium Processing service from 15 calendar days to 15 business days, and lower fees for some online forms.
The proposed rule will not go into effect until after the notice and comment period ends on March 6, 2023, and USCIS considers the comments and publishes the final rule.
Foster will continue to monitor USCIS rulemaking concerning the fee schedule and will make future updates available via the Foster website at www.fosterglobal.com.