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USCIS Fee Increases

September 30, 2020

Court Blocks Enforcement of USCIS October 2 Fee Increase

On September 29, 2020, a federal district court issued a nationwide preliminary injunction that prohibits the Department of Homeland Security from implementing the 2020 final USCIS fee rule in its entirety.

Until further notice, petitioners and applicants will not be subject to the higher fees or forms outlined in the regulation, nor will they be subject to the extended premium processing timeline. It is expected that USCIS will issue an update regarding the impact of the order on the new editions of the forms that were to become mandatory on October 2, in conjunction with the fee rule. Additional information on the injunction and fee rule is available on the NAFSA website.

OISS continues to monitor the situation very closely and will provide updates and guidance to UD international students and scholars as new information becomes available. If you have any questions in the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact OISS at any time.

August 3, 2020

USCIS Fee Increases Effective October 2

On August 3, 2020, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published a final rule updating filing fees for immigration applications. The new fees will be required starting October 2, 2020. Especially notable is that there will be different filing fees for H, O, and TN petitions, even though they are all filed using Form I-129. To implement the final rule, USCIS will create separate forms for different the categories on the I-129 and charge different fees for the new form types.

Final Changes to Fees for Forms Frequently Encountered in Higher Education

Form Title

Current Fee

Final Fee
(Effective Oct. 2,2020)

I-129: Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker (H-1B)



I-129: Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker (O-1)



I-129: Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker (E & TN)



I-539: Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status


$400 ($390 if submitted online)

I-765: Application for Employment Authorization (non-DACA)



In addition to fee increases changes, the rule also finalizes the following, effective October 3, 2020:

  1. Changes the premium processing timeframe from 15 calendar days to 15 business days.
  2. Authorizes USCIS to use Signature Confirmation Restricted Delivery as a method of delivery of secure documents (such as green cards, EADs, and advance parole authorizations).
  3. Eliminates the separate $85 biometric service fee for most applications, including the I-539: Application to Change or Extend Status. USCIS will instead incorporate the cost into the fee charged for the underlying benefit request.

For more information, please see NAFSA: Final Rule Fees and USCIS: Adjusts Fees. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact OISS at any time.