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The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently concluded its final rule adjustment session on February 22, 2024, bringing significant changes to immigration and naturalization fees. This comprehensive overview highlights key takeaways from the session, providing essential information for those navigating the immigration process.

Streamlined Payment Process

During the grace period from April 1, 2024, to June 3, 2024, applicants were reminded that there would be no leniency for filing fees. Notably, specific forms, including I-129, I-129CW, I-140, 600A, and 600, do not have a grace period. Ensuring payment accuracy is paramount, with no opportunities for re-runs in case of failed payments—except for insufficient fund cases. Moreover, credit card payments will not be refunded once processed. $30 return fee has been eliminated. It’s crucial for applicants to be vigilant and accurate in their fee submissions during this period.

Online Filing Advantages

Taking a step towards modernization, USCIS introduced a $50 discount for online filings. However, exceptions exist for substantially reduced fees and naturalization applications. For biometric fees, most applicants will not face a separate charge, except for specific TPS & EOIR requests. It’s worth noting that applications such as I-131 and I-165 cannot be bundled, underlining the importance of understanding the specific requirements for each form.

Employment-Based Fee Adjustments

In employment-based petitions, USCIS underscored fee exemptions for nonprofits in asylum cases. Small companies are subject to a $300 fee, while others pay $600. Notably, a 50% discount on Form I-129 fees for nonprofits and small employers was discussed. Additionally, there will be an increase in the H-1B Registration fee to $215 from March 2025 for FY 2026. These adjustments reflect USCIS’s commitment to creating a fair and accessible system for all stakeholders.

Q&A Insights and Resources

The Q&A section addressed several crucial points, including details on grace period postmarked dates, the absence of separate biometric fees for adoption applications, and the necessity of asylum fees for each new Form I-129 filing, even with the same petitioner.

In conclusion, the USCIS Final Rule Adjustment brings about significant changes to immigration and naturalization fees, emphasizing the need for accuracy, awareness, and adherence to the new guideline

If you have any questions or need further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us for a consultation. Our dedicated team is here to support you through the petition process and address any concerns you may have.