Happy New Year and best wishes for 2017! A new year is a time for goals and resolutions, which may include applying for US citizenship, renewing a green card, or meeting with an attorney to discuss available immigration paths.
Applicants should be aware that USCIS is beginning the new year with recently updated fees and forms for almost all immigration cases.
What are the new USCIS fees for 2017 cases?
USCIS has listed the new fees on its website along with the old fees for comparison. The new immigration fees became effective December 23, 2016, so all cases submitted now should include checks or money orders using the new fee. The fee for naturalization (US Citizenship) has only increased a small amount, from $680 (Form N-400 + biometric service fee) to $725. Other processes have increased quite a bit more. The I-601 waiver form, for example has increased from $585 to $930. Be sure to review the forms and fees with your attorney, or check the USCIS website carefully for your type of case to ensure correct fee payment.
What happens if I pay the wrong fee?
USCIS will return the packet you submitted along with your incorrect check or money order. You will not be charged for the returned packet, but you will need to pay to re-submit.
How do I find the new USCIS forms and use them?
On December 23, 2016 USCIS published updated versions of the forms at uscis.gov/forms. In a message to its stakeholders, USCIS strongly encourage customers to submit these new versions, which are updated with the new fees and have an edition date of 12/23/16. USCIS has said that it will accept the old version of most forms (but not the N-400) until February 21, 2017, but our office will be completing and submitting all new forms for our clients. For anyone completing a form without an attorney, be careful to use the most recent version of the form, as found on USCIS’s website.