One of the provisions for the Build Back Better (BBB) bill that the Senate will try to pass before Christmas has to do with immigration fees. The U.S. government will try to raise fees for immigration applications which will in turn help the USCIS increase their revenue for the next fiscal year. If they are able to do so, the agency will be able to hire more immigration officers to adjudicate applications, which could effectively reduce some of the backlogs we are seeing today. In general, the agency would also have money at their disposal to create more efficiencies at different field offices and service centers.

However as many immigrants who have filed with the USCIS already know, applying for any immigration benefit is costly and is a make or break situation for many immigrant families that aren’t affluent. Interestingly, the BBB is set to raise several USCIS application fees.

Let’s take a closer look at the projected raises for some of the applications:

I-90 Application- The current fee for processing an I-90 application (to replace a lost or stolen green card) is 455 dollars. However, under the BBB, the fee is expected to increase to $500.

I-765 Application- The current fee for processing an I-765 working authorization form is $410. However, under the BBB the fee is also expected to increase to $500.

I-140 Application- Employees filing a work petition for a prospective hire will also have to pay more to hire foreign talent. The current fee for an I-140 application is $700 but the BBB wants to raise this fee to $800. 

I-526 Application- This is the USCIS application for a foreign investor to come to the United States by means of investing in a U.S. economic sector that creates jobs for U.S. citizens. Currently, the filing fee for this application is $3675, but the BBB wants to raise this fee 400 percent, to $15,000. This is the largest filing fee increase proposed in the BBB plan.[1]

If the BBB were to pass, some of the fees could go into effect in early 2022. These prospective fee increases should be a signal to immigrants, and also U.S. businesses hoping to hire foreign talent, to file their respective immigration applications before there are substantial fee increases.