Immigration Fees Going Up, Up, Up

On May 4, 2016, The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced the opening of the 60-day comment period regarding the increase of their fees. Don’t be fooled by the “comment period,” name, however. No amount of trolling or snarky memes will prevent the fees from going up. The exception: Naturalization for low-income individuals. That fee may decrease to allow certain, qualified permanent residents to more easily apply for citizenship.

Do your wallet a favor and get that application you’ve been procrastinating ready to file. As always, if you’d like a free consultation to discuss qualifications, we’d be happy to review your case.

Attorney Sarah Kay Berry

sarah@elliott-davis.com

(412) 434-4911 x 28

Form Form Name Old Fee ($) New Fee ($) Including Biometrics (If Applicable) ($)
I-90 Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card (Green Card). 365 455 540
I-129F Petition for Alien Fiance/Fiancee/K-1 Petition 340 535 N/A
I-130 Petition for Alien Relative

(Spouse, child, brother, sister, sibling, parent).

420 535 N/A
I-131 Application for Travel Document, Advance Parole, Travel Permission (when not filed with I-485) 260 575 660
I-140 Petition for Immigrant Alien Worker 580 700 N/A
I-290B Notice of Appeal, Motion to Reopen, Motion to Reconsider 630 675 N/A
I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status (Green Card Application) 985 1140 1225
I-536 Application to Extend or Change Nonimmigrant Status 290 370
I-601A Application for Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver, I-601 Waiver 630 675 N/A
I-751 Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence (10 year green card) 505 595 680
I-765 Application for Employment Authorization, EAD, Work Card 380 410 495
N-400 Application for Naturalization, Citizenship 595 640 725
N-600 Application for Certificate of Citizenship 600 1170 1255

USCIS Immigrant Fee

After Consular Processing 165 200 N/A
Biometrics Fingerprints and FBI background check, photo 85 85 N/A

 

The prices indicated are for information purposes only and do not represent all of the changes proposed by USCIS and are subject to change. Again. Legal fees or attorney fees are not included.

Do I Have to Disclose Crimes to Immigration that have been dismissed or Expunged?

On many immigration forms or in interviews you will be asked whether you have been arrested, cited, charged or convicted of any crime. You must answer this question honestly, even if the charges were dismissed or the charges expunged.

Getting an expungement may be helpful for employment purposes, but not for immigration. With a previous arrest record you will be asked to provide police reports and/or a certified court disposition outlining the exact nature of the charges and any plea deal made.

Failure to provide this information is considered misrepresentation and could result in a denial of the case or worse. To find out how your record could affect immigration, it’s best to have an attorney review the documents and create an individual plan of action. Checking “yes” doesn’t always mean your case will be denied. Omitting the information, however, can be a costly mistake.

Avoiding Immigration Fraud

Have a Tourist Visa and Married to a United States Citizen? Be Careful. One of the worst things an immigrant can do is make a misrepresentation to a government official. This can occur at the border, in the airport, to an officer or on immigration forms. At first glance it seems rather obvious: don’t lie. Easy. In reality, however, innocent misunderstandings of immigration law can lead to a fraud charge with serious implications for immigration. Here are some things you should know when you’re traveling or applying for an immigration benefit.

Make Sure the Visa Matches the Intent. If you’re traveling internationally while married to or engaged to a US citizen, make sure that your visa matches your intent. For example, say you’re traveling to the US on your passport (visa waiver). By using your passport to enter the United States you certify that your trip is temporary and you will return to your country. You testify to immigration officials that you do not intend to live permanently in the United States. You don’t have to say a word. At the border you don’t raise your hand and swear. The simple act of presenting your passport is your testimony.

Showing up at the airport with a shiny engagement ring and wedding magazines is likely to trigger detailed questions about your intent and if immigration suspects your stay will be longer than the allowed 90-day period (or 6-month period for B-2 visitors), they can deny entry to the United States and ban you from returning. What to do: If you are already in the United States on a nonimmigrant visa (F-1, B-2 tourist, visa waiver, J-1, L-1, TN, etc.) and are married or engaged to a United States Citizen, you may want to consider adjusting status to permanent resident prior to travel. If, however, you are located in another country, consular processing or a K-1 visa for fiancees might be the more appropriate fit. Whatever you decide to do, be aware of the limitations of your visa or visa waiver and plan accordingly.

Actions Speak Louder Than Words One common pitfall for immigration fraud is coming to the United States with a non-immigrant visa (like a tourist visa or passport visa waiver) and getting married immediately. Even if you intend to return to your country, marriage within the first 30 days of arriving to the United States is a big red flag. So be careful about what your actions say, and when in doubt, consult with an immigration attorney prior to marriage or international travel.

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