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USCIS Drops Proposed Immigration Filing Fee Increase

On Tuesday, September 29, 2020, United States district judge, Jeffrey S. White of California granted a preliminary injunction which stopped the increase of immigration filing fees that were set to increase on October 2, 2020, for the time being. The Trump administration filed an appeal of the Judge’s decision. On December 28, 2020, the date the government was to file its opening brief in the federal appellate court, the government filed a motion to dismiss the appeal. The government’s motion to dismiss means that the proposed fee increases and the proposed changed to premium processing will not go into effect, at least for now.


On Tuesday September 29, 2020, United States District Judge, Jeffrey S. White of California granted a preliminary injunction which stopped the increase of immigration filing fees that were set to increase on October 2, 2020, for the time being. The Trump administration filed an appeal of the Judge’s decision. On December 28, 2020, the date the government was to file its opening brief in the federal appellate court, the government filed a motion to dismiss the appeal. The government’s motion to dismiss means that the proposed fee increases and the proposed changed to premium processing will not go into effect, at least for now.


USCIS had explained that because 97% of their budget relies on filing fees it was necessary to raise the fees to be able to successfully operate and provide adequate services with the proper resources. They have also been struggling with the Coronavirus pandemic and the agency claimed that they had considered furloughing about 70% of its staff. The opposers of the filing fee increase argued that low-income applicants who would struggle to pay these fees would not be able to pay them at all with the increase. This would not only affect those individuals, but businesses who are looking to hire immigrants as well. It would’ve also led to a drastic effect on tax revenue and would’ve decreased the number of people who go through the act of naturalization and therefore wouldn’t be able to perform civic duties such as voting which is essential in society today.

Although this effort to increase the filing fees was halted, that doesn’t imply that USCIS could attempt this again in the future. This is great news for the immigrants of this nation. It is essential to not only keep the fees affordable, but to keep USCIS well-funded in order for them to best to most effectively review immigration matters.

The proposed fee increases would have increased filing fees by about 20%, but up to 83% for citizenship applications. The table below shows the proposed increases.



Patricia Elizee is the managing partner of Elizee La Firm, an immigration and family law firm located at 1110 Brickell Avenue, Suite 315, Miami, Florida 33131. She can be reached at Ph: 305-371-8846

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Elizee Law Firm, P.A., is a Miami-based law firm focused on immigration and family law cases. Our mission is to provide our clients with quality service, client-focused counseling, and aggressive, zealous and ethical representation. As a client of Elizee Law Firm, P.A., you will receive personal and dedicated service. Your case will be handled with great care. Our attorneys will thoroughly review your file and supporting documents to build a strong and effective case designed to achieve your goals.

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