Questions and Answers from Rian’s Legal Team

Q. What is the status of the possible changes to USCIS filing fees?

A. Early last year, we summarized the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services’ Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to announce adjustments in the agency’s fee schedule. On the last day of January this year, USCIS published its Final Rule to lay out all changes to filing fees associated with immigration benefit requests charged by the agency. Starting on April 1, individuals must comply and pay the new amount or the benefit request will be rejected due to an incorrect fee.

We already reviewed why USCIS felt compelled to alter its fee schedule in our previous Q&A on the subject, so please refer to that piece to understand the motivations behind USCIS’ decision. Here, we will focus on the material impacts of these changes.

Filing fees are, on the whole, going to increase. USCIS includes a chart on its Filing Fee Final Rule FAQ webpage that details exactly how much it will cost as of April 1, 2024 to file a certain form, but a few examples demonstrate that certain immigration benefit requests will not cost substantially more than before. 

In order to persuade individuals to file electronically, a paper filing will now cost $50 more than filing the same form through USCIS’ website. To update information that we previously provided, the application to become a permanent resident (I-485) will increase by $215, and the application to remove conditions on permanent residence (I-751) with biometric services would go up by $70.

Applicants for permanent residence will now need to pay the half the filing fee for the work permit application and/or the entire filing fee for the travel document application, should they desire to request those benefits as well. 

The application for naturalization will either increase by $35 if you file by paper or decrease by $15 if you file online. USCIS acknowledged that many commenters expressed concerns about these fee increases, and the agency chose to expand the number of forms eligible for fee waivers as a compromise.

USCIS used this final rule to codify the fee waiver definition and offer fee exemptions to individuals seeking humanitarian-related immigration benefits. Naturalization applicants who earn between 150 percent and 400 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines will now be eligible to pay only half of the filing fee. All U-visa applicants, T-visa applicants, VAWA applicants, and Special Immigrant Juveniles will not have to pay any filing fees on any associated forms for the sought immigration benefit, including the application for permanent residence.

Ensuring a proper filing fee is an essential part of preparing any immigration forms application. If you have any questions about how these fee adjustments will impact you, please contact the Rian Immigrant Center to request a legal consultation.

Disclaimer: These articles are published to inform the general public, not to advise in individual cases. All law, including immigration law, is always subject to change. If you seek legal advice you can contact Rian’s immigration legal staff at 617-984-6542.


Rian Immigrant Center

One State Street, Suite 800, Boston, MA  02109

Telephone (617) 542-7654