Skip to site navigation Skip to main content Skip to footer content Skip to Site Search page Skip to People Search page

Alerts and Updates

USCIS Changes Fees, Forms, Policies and Timelines Starting October 2

September 23, 2020

USCIS Changes Fees, Forms, Policies and Timelines Starting October 2

September 23, 2020

Read below

On October 2, 2020, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will implement a wide range of fee changes (principally increases) and policy changes for certain nonimmigrant and immigrant petitions as announced in a final rule issued on July 31, 2020. The fee changes will impact all types of immigration cases, from family-based to employment-based and U.S. citizenship. A representative sampling of these are below:

Immigration Benefit/Form

Current Fee

Fee as of October 2

Change ($)

Percentage Change

I-129 (E and TN)





I-129 (H-1B)





I-129 (L-1A and L-1B)





I-129 (O-1)





I-130 (Petition for Alien Relative) Paper Filing





I-140 (Immigration Petition for Alien Worker)





I-131 (Application for Travel Document)




3 %

I-485 (Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status)





I-539 (Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status) Paper Filing





I-765 (Application for Employment Authorization, Non-DACA)





There are presently at least two lawsuits pending to prevent the government from implementing these increases. Assuming the proposed changes are not enjoined, the new fees will be effective as of October 2, 2020, and apply to all applications and petitions postmarked on or after that date. Applications or petitions postmarked before October 2, 2020, will be adjudicated based on the previous fees in effect at the time of filing.

Changes to Green Card Application Fees and Policy

Currently, there is a one-time filing fee of $1,225, which includes the Form I-485 (application for permanent residence/green card), Form I-765 (employment authorization document―EAD) and Form I-131 (advance parole travel document―AP). The one-time fee also covers any renewal applications for the work and travel authorization while the AOS is pending.

Under the new policy and fee structure, the USCIS is eliminating the bundled fee and will require separate filing fees for each form. The total fees for an AOS application packet will increase to $2,270 when all three forms (AOS, EAD and AP) are included with the initial filing. Note: Additional filing fees for each EAD and AP renewal application will now be required for these cases. In addition, the USCIS has eliminated the discount in the AOS filing fee for minor children under 14 whose cases are filed at the same time as the applying parent. 

Premium Processing Changes

USCIS has announced that the processing time for premium processing will be extended from 15 calendar days to 15 business days, effectively lengthening the adjudication time by a week. The premium processing fee remains at $1,440.

Form Changes

USCIS is implementing form changes for many of the common employment-based petitions. The Form I-129 will have separate forms for each visa classification sought under the I-129, including the H-1B, O-1, L-1 and TN. If no injunction is put in place before October 2, 2020, then each I-129 or Form I-765 (among others) filed with the USCIS must be filed using the October 2, 2020, edition of the form. However, the new forms have not yet been released by the USCIS.

Public Charge Changes

For several months there has been litigation pending regarding the USCIS’ attempts to implement a new Public Charge Rule. The rule would expand the interpretation of what is required to demonstrate that an individual is not likely to become a financial public charge for the U.S. government if the individual is granted admission to the United States. A recent decision in the public charge litigation has caused the USCIS to indicate they are revisiting when and how they will require the reporting of information related to the public charge question. We anticipate the government will issue statements clarifying the USCIS’ position on who needs to answer expanded public charge questions (through forms such as the new I-129 forms and the form I-944) when the government releases further details regarding the October 2, 2020, revised forms. 

For More Information

If you have any questions about this Alert, please contact Lisa Spiegel, Angela Moore, Terra Ralston Martin, any of the attorneys in our Immigration Law Group or the attorney in the firm with whom you are regularly in contact.

Disclaimer: This Alert has been prepared and published for informational purposes only and is not offered, nor should be construed, as legal advice. For more information, please see the firm's full disclaimer.