New Immigration Fees Now in Effect for Visas; USCIS Proposes to Increase More Fees
By: Harlan York
June 16, 2010

Nonimmigrant visa and border crossing card application processing fees are now $140 for most non-petition-based nonimmigrant visas (machine-readable visas or MRVs) and $14 for Border Crossing Cards (BCCs).

The Department of State also established a new, higher fee for certain categories of petition-based nonimmigrant visas and treaty trader and investor visas (all of which are also MRVs):  H, L, O, P, Q, and R nonimmigrant visa fees are now $150; E visas, $390; and K visas, $350.

In early June, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced its plans to increase fees that will amount to an average increase of about 10% across the board, citing lower than projected fee revenues for 2010-2011. USCIS issued its formal proposal on June 11 with a 45-day period during which the public can comment.

While most of the proposed fee increases for individual petitions and application are not shocking in and of themselves, when combined with the 66% fee increase that was implemented just three years ago, the fee increase constitutes a hefty hit for a variety of immigration service users.

Here are some examples of the proposed fees:  an I-130 petition for an alien relative will increase from $355 to $420; an I-140 petition for an immigrant worker will increase from $475 to $580, and an I-485 application to adjust status will increase to $1,070 (with biometrics).

A significant increase is proposed for premium processing, currently $1,000; it will cost, if adopted, $1,225. Fees for administrative appeals will increase $45, from $585 to $630.

When announcing the proposals, USCIS Director Alejandro Mayorkas stated that USCIS is closely reviewing the adjudicatory process to improve consistency and quality, but we are not holding our breath.

In recent years, the quality of USCIS decision-making and the agency’s ability to correct even minor errors or address fundamental, systemic problems are at an all time low.

As one colleague remarked, “USCIS is going to have to dig deep, confront some difficult structural issues, and implement some massive, culture-changing fixes if the agency wants its products and services to be worthy of their new price tag.”


About Harlan York

The first-ever attorney in New Jersey to win “Immigration Lawyer of the Year” from Best Lawyers, Harlan York is former immigration chair of the NJ State Bar Association and former co-chair for the NY State Bar Association CFLS Committee on Immigration. He currently serves on the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) National Practice Management Committee.

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Harlan York & Associates practices law in the areas of Immigration, Deportation Defense, Family Immigration, Corporate Immigration, Naturalization throughout Essex County – Hudson County – Morris County – Passaic County – Somerset County – Middlesex County – Bergen County – New Jersey -Immigration Lawyer – NJ Immigration Lawyer – Jersey City-Newark-Paterson Passaic Elizabeth Edison Woodbridge Toms River Hamilton Trenton Camden Clifton Passaic Garfield Wallington Cherry Hill East Orange Passaic Union City Bayonne Irvington Old Bridge Lakewood North Bergen Vineland Union Wayne Parsippany-Troy Hills New Brunswick Plainfield Bloomfield Perth Amboy East Brunswick West New York West Orange Hackensack Atlantic City Kearny Mount Laurel Montclair Essex Hoboken North Brunswick Belleville. In addition to serving clients in New York, Pennsylvania, the greater United States, and Internationally.

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