The Future is Changing for Immigration to the United States, specifically the Adjustment of Status Green Card filing.
In 2023, USCIS is attempting to push more applicants into their Online Filing system. By filing online, Applicants will receive a “reduced filing fee” since it reduces the administrative costs to USCIS. However, to cover the costs associated with beginning the transition to a fully electronic agency, USCIS will need more MONEY.
In January 2023, USCIS Announced a Filing Fee increase that is DRASTICALLY HIGHER than what the agency has increased in the past. Additionally, USCIS will transition away from “free, but slow, additional filing” to an “a-la-carte / pay to play” format. Slow free filings will be discontinued, and future filings after the Fee Increase is implemented will mean applicants will have to pay in order to play, meaning they will have to pay for every service they are requesting.
Summary of the Fee Change:
Current Cost Structure:
I-130, I-485, Free I-765, and Free I-131 equal a cost of $1760.
Expected Cost Structure:
Online I-130 and I-485 equal a cost of $2250.
Online I-130, I-485, and I-131 equal a cost of $2880.
Online I-130, I-485, and I-765 equal a cost of $2900. [I-765 Refilings may mean an additional fee of $750 1.5 to 2 years into the AOS Process]
Online I-130, I-485, I-765, and I-131 equal a cost of $3530.
*Note: the changes are not yet final and USCIS can adjust the fees slightly up or down at any time. In January 2023, USCIS has already made one amendment, and more amendments may follow.
How is this Increase going to Change the Process?
Now, not all change is a “bad thing.” With the I-130 being filed electronically in order for an Applicant to receive a “lower filing fee,” the Applicant is:
- Creating and accessing an amazing tool, the USCIS Online Case System
- Typing the data correctly into the USCIS System, which reducing administrative time and reducing typographical errors
- Supporting Documents are being itemized and the online system AUTOMATICALLY suggests what to upload to USCIS, thereby reducing delays and wasted administrative time regarding requesting and reviewing additional supporting documents
- The applicant can later more easily see the later AOS filings in the USCIS Online Case System since a USCIS Online Account Number has already been created and can be placed on all later AOS Forms
However, it must be noted, USCIS’s transition will initially double everyone’s work. Part of the filing would be done electronically, and then a later part would be done by paper.
Eventually, sometime in the future, the AOS Filing will go 100% electronic, completely reducing the administrative strain on the USCIS System, and effectively speeding up the US Immigration Process.
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