Legal Immigration Blog

September 17, 2020

USCIS Fee Change 2020

USCIS Fee Rule Change Information (2020)

USCIS has published a final rule of fee changes. Most fees are increasing, but some are remaining the same or decreasing. All changes are effective on October 2, 2020. One notable change is that the fee to file online (when forms are available) is $10 less than filing a paper application.

One of the most important changes is eliminating all fee reductions. Fee waivers will also be more limited than before. Some notable eliminations of fee waivers include the following forms:

  • I-90 Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card
  • I-751 Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence
  • N-336 Request for a Hearing on a Decision in Naturalization Proceedings (Under Section 336 of the INA)
  • N-400 Application for Naturalization
  • N-565 Application for Replacement Naturalization/Citizenship Document
  • N-600 Application for Certificate of Citizenship

Other Major Changes:

  1. Fee Waivers Eliminated for Most Applications
    1. DHS is eliminating fee waivers except where immigration law requires DHS to provide one. Under the final rule, only VAWA self-petitioners, T nonimmigrants, U nonimmigrants, certain battered spouses and children, TPS applicants, SIJS applicants, and Afghan/Iraqi special immigrants will be eligible for fee waivers. Those groups remain eligible for fee waivers for associated or subsequent applications.
  2. Fee Waiver Standards Restricted
    1. Besides eliminating fee waivers, DHS is also significantly limiting the criteria to qualify for a fee waiver. After the fee rule is effective, only those in the approved categories whose income is at or below 125 percent of the federal poverty level will qualify. 
    2. DHS is also eliminating the reduced fee waiver for naturalization applicants. 
    3. Those few applicants who qualify for a fee waiver must file Form I-912, which was previously optional, and must have required supporting documentation—i.e., tax transcripts, W-2 form, or specified documents proving income. 
  3. Unbundling of Adjustment Applications
    1. Paying Additional Separate Fees – DHS will now require separate filing fees for Forms I-765 and I-131 when filed concurrently with Form I-485 or while it is pending with USCIS. Individuals who plan to work or travel while their adjustment applications are pending must pay an additional $550 to file Form I-765 and $590 to file Form I-131. 
    2. DHS is eliminating the reduced child fee for Form I-485. Children under the age of 14 years old will now pay the full $1,130 fee.
  4. Form Changes
    1. The final fee rule also includes a table of form changes that lists revised forms that applicants must use after the rule’s effective date. As always, use the most current version of the form from the USCIS website, especially in light of the October 2, 2020 projected changes.

A publication on the Rule Change by ILRC (Immigrant Legal Resource Center) provides more context for advocates: https://www.ilrc.org/sites/default/files/resources/revised_uscis_fee_increases_october_2020.pdf 

Changes to Fees on Forms Done for IIMD Clients:

Form NumberForm NameCurrent FeeNew Online FeeNew Paper Fee
I-90Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card$455$405$415
I-129FPetition for an Alien Fiance(e)$535N/A$510
I-130Petition for Alien Relative$535$550$560
I-131Application for Travel Document$575N/A$590
I-131Refugee Travel Document for an individual age 16 or older$135N/A$145
I-131Refugee Travel Document for a child under the age of 16$105N/A$115
I-131AApplication for Travel Document (Carrier Documentation)$575N/A$1,010
I-192Application for Advance Permission to Enter as Nonimmigrant (CBP)$585N/A$1,400
I-192Application for Advance Permission to Enter as Nonimmigrant (USCIS)$930N/A$1,400
I-212Application for Permission to Reapply for Admission into the U.S. After Deportation or Removal$930N/A$1,050
I-290BNotice of Appeal or Motion$675N/A$700
I-360Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant$435N/A$450
I-485Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status$1,140$750 (reduced)N/A$1,130(no reduced fee)
I-539Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status$370$390$400
I-601Application for Waiver of Ground of Excludability$930N/A$1,010
I-601AProvisional Unlawful Presence Waiver$630N/A$960
I-690Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility$715N/A$765
I-751Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence$595N/A$760
I-765Application for Employment Authorization (Non-DACA)$410N/A$550
I-765Application for Employment Authorization (DACA only)$410N/A$410
I-824Application for Action on an Approved Application or Petition$465N/A$495
I-929Petition for Qualifying Family Member of a U-1 Nonimmigrant$230N/A$1,485
N-336Request for Hearing on a Decision in Naturalization Proceedings $700$1,725$1,735
N-400Application for Naturalization$640$320 (reduced)$1,160$1,170(no reduced fee)
N-470Application to Preserve Residence for Naturalization Purposes$355N/A$1,585
N-565Application for Replacement Naturalization/Citizenship Document$555$535$545
N-600Application for Certificate of Citizenship$1,170$990$1,000
USCIS Immigrant Fee$220N/A$190
Biometric Services (Non-DACA)$85N/A$30
Biometric Services (DACA Only)$85N/A$85

For the current fees, please refer to https://www.uscis.gov/g-1055

For the fee change, USCIS has a page with the most current information: https://www.uscis.gov/news/news-releases/uscis-adjusts-fees-to-help-meet-operational-needs 

August 6, 2020

DACA Updates

On Tuesday, July 28, 2020, Chad F. Wolf, Acting Secretary of U.S. Department of Homeland Security, wrote a memo to senior officials in U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP), U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE), and U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (CIS). In it, he addressed the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and its future. He stated that he will be putting appropriate consideration to rescind the program fully, and that he will make changes in the interim to reduce access to the program.

It’s a wordy, 8-page document, with copious details about the court case, previous memos, and his position on this program, but a summary of what will affect current DACA recipients and applicants follows.

Effective immediately, DHS shall: 

  1. Reject all initial DACA requests and associated applications for Employment Authorization Documents (EAD). They will refund all associated fees, and will not reject them in the future if DHS does begin accepting initial applications again. 
  2. Process all pending and future properly submitted DACA renewal requests and associated applications for Employment Authorization Documents from current beneficiaries. 
  3. Limit the period to one year of any DACA grant and associated EAD. 
  4. Refrain from ending or revoking any DACA or EADs from those who already were approved for those prior to the memo.
  5. Reject all pending and future Form I-131 applications (advance parole) from DACA recipients and refund all associated fees, absent exceptional circumstances. 
  6. Refrain from ending any previously approved advance parole during their current validity periods. 
  7. Exercise its discretionary authority to terminate or deny [an individual’s] deferred action at any time when immigration officials determine termination or denial of deferred action is appropriate.
  8. Continue to comply with the information-sharing policy as reflected in the DACA Frequently Asked Questions issued alongside the Napolitano Memorandum, and as set forth in USCIS’s Form I-821D instructions. 

The entire memorandum can be found here.

July 22, 2020

How to Register to Vote

Register to Vote to Make Your Voice Heard! 

Think registering to vote is hard? Thing again! The Secretary of State makes this process very easy, walking you through it step by step. 

To be eligible to register to vote you must be:

  • A Michigan resident (at the time you register) and a resident of your city or township for at least 30 days (when you vote) 
  • A United States Citizen
  • At least 18 years of age (when you vote)
  • Not currently serving a sentence in jail or prison

Voter Registration Deadline: Received or postmarked by the 15th day before Election Day.

  • Online voter registration is available to Michigan driver’s license and state ID holders 
  • You may also register in-person through Election Day at your municipal clerk’s office. Proof of residence is required if registering on or after the 14th day before an election, including on Election Day. You CANNOT register to vote at a polling place.

Online voter registration  asks for your Michigan driver’s license or state ID number, but not other document is required. If you are registering on or before the 15th day before Election Day, no ID is required. Michigan’s voter registration form asks for your Michigan driver’s license or ID number, or the last four digits of your Social Security Number. Be sure to provide one of these numbers if you have it. If you register on or after the 14th day before an election, including on Election Day, then you need to provide proof of residence, such as a utility bill or bank account statement with your name and residential address.

Acceptable IDs include:

  • a driver’s license or identification card issued by Michigan or another state,
  • a U.S. passport,
  • a photo ID issued by a federal or state government,
  • a military ID with photo,
  • a high school or college photo ID, or
  • a tribal ID with photo.

By Mail or Early In-Person

  • Any registered voter can now vote absentee by mail or early in person at a municipal clerk’s office WITHOUT any excuse or reason.
  • Request forms for absentee ballot must be received in writing by your local election official by 5 p.m. the Friday before Election Day.
  • Completed ballots must be returned to the municipal clerk’s office before 8 p.m. on Election Day.
  • A voter may request and cast an absentee ballot at a municipal clerk’s office beginning 45 days before an election through Election Day. Hours may vary from normal business hours on Saturday and Sunday, but they will be open for at least 8 hours on both days.

Election Day

  • Voting sites will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Election Day. If you are in line by the closing time, then you must be allowed to vote.

Upcoming Election Dates 2020

  • Primary Election (Other Offices) Registration Deadline: July 20
  • Primary Election (Other Offices): August 4
  • General Election Registration Deadline: October 19
  • General Election: November 3

Make sure to look up your voting site and plan ahead! Find out more information here Official Election Website

WARNING! 

DO NOT register to vote if you are not eligible to do so. You are not eligible to register to vote if you are not currently a US citizen. Registering to vote as a non-citizen can result in serious legal consequences effecting your current immigration status. 

Local County Clerk Offices 

Wayne County

2 Woodward Ave, Detroit, MI 48226

(313) 224- 6263

Macomb County

120 N Main St, Mt Clemens, MI 48043

(586) 469- 5120

Oakland County

1200 Telegraph Rd Building #12E, Pontiac, MI 48341

(248) 858- 0581 

July 9, 2020

The 2020 Census Counts, So Do You

It affects us all! Here at The International Institute of Metro Detroit, IIMD, we are committed to the well-being of our community and our clients.

Whether you are a citizen or not, you must be counted for the 2020 Census.

The Census takes place every 10 years when the US government counts every person who lives in the country, regardless of citizenship status, age, nationality, or ability. The Census will use the information collected to allocate more than $675 billion in federal funds for states and communities per year for the next ten years, until the 2030 Census. Areas to which funds are distributed:

  • Medicaid/ Medicare
  • State Children’s Health Insurance Programs
  • Head Start and Early Head Start
  • Special education grants 
  • Vocational rehabilitation services

Without accurate information collected through the Census, elected officials cannot make informed decisions about how to allocate needed federal tax dollars effectively to communities. The information collected by the Census increases the ability and funds to advocate on disparities in housing, health care, employment, and education.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic it is even more crucial to get an accurate reflection of how many folks reside in the US and where. Usually, Census workers would do door-to-door visits ensuring every home has been visited multiple times to gather correct data. Unfortunately, this is no longer possible to do in a safe and secure fashion. This makes it even more important to fill out the Census: either online at MY2020CENCUS.GOV, through the paper form, or by calling the toll-free number 844- 330- 2020.

Through the United We Count Detroit 2020 Census project, IIMD and its partners, the Islamic Center of Detroit (ICD) and the Mayoral Office of Immigrant Affairs and Economic Inclusion, are leading an effort to increase the 2020 census count by at least 6% by engaging, educating, and assisting under-counted communities on the city’s east and west side in the Banglatown and Warrendale neighborhoods. We created a robust strategy which included the following:

1. Facilitating six information sessions; 

2. Establishing community-based census service centers; 

3. Creating a multilingual marketing campaign; 

4. Designing and implementing a canvassing campaign.  

As a result of COVID-19, this strategy had to be revised; yet we nevertheless conducted the six information sessions and designated census service centers in the above mentioned communities. We also partnered with the city’s immigration taskforce and Dr Hayg Oshagan, founder and director of New Michigan Media, to create the online marketing campaign, the partnership developed multicultural outreach materials in a variety of community languages. We have shared these on social media and with community partners to ensure our messaging reaches and engages the intended audiences. 

We appreciate and thank our project manager Muthanna Al-Hanooti and partners, ICD and the Mayoral Office of Immigrant Affairs and Economic Inclusion.