Global Business Team

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Immigration fees and filing schedules changing

Many people with employment-based visas in Indiana allowing them to live and work in the United States want to adjust their status to apply for a green card or permanent residency in the United States. Applicants from a number of countries, especially mainland China and India, have lengthy backlogs for some types of applications to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), and the monthly Visa Bulletin issued by the agency provides details on eligibility as well as changes to the fee structure.

New fiscal year begins October 1

USCIS launches its new fiscal year on October 1, and the number of employment-based visas and the fees associated with those visas often change at this time of year. In many areas of the world that have experienced delays in the past, such as Mexico, the Philippines and El Salvador, most employment visa application timetables are now current. For potential employment visa applicants from China and India, the timeline has advanced significantly, especially for certain categories of applicants.

Fees for applications increase

However, along with the potentially faster timelines for many applicants, USCIS announced significant changes in many filing fees that go into effect on October 2, 2020. While some application costs may go down, like that of the I-140 (Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker), others will significantly increase. The filing cost of all forms associated with a green card application will rise to $2,270 from $1,140, and the applications will no longer be bundled together for savings. In addition, the cost of applying for citizenship will reach $1,170, a hike of 83%.

The U.S. immigration system can be complex for many workers looking to make a home in the United States or bring their families to the country through employment immigration. An immigration law attorney might advise workers and their employers about how to proceed through the system.