AGENCY: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, ... U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)

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  • This document is scheduled to be published in the Federal Register on 10/24/2016 and available online at https://federalregister.gov/d/2016-25328, and on FDsys.gov

    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY

    8 CFR Parts 103, 204, and 205

    [CIS No. 2577-15; DHS Docket No. USCIS-2016-0001]

    RIN 1615-AC09

    U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Fee Schedule

    AGENCY: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, DHS.

    ACTION: Final rule.

    SUMMARY: The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is adjusting the fee

    schedule for immigration and naturalization benefit requests processed by U.S.

    Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The fee schedule was last adjusted on

    November 23, 2010. USCIS conducted a comprehensive fee review for the fiscal year

    (FY) 2016/2017 biennial period and determined that current fees do not recover the full

    cost of services provided. DHS has determined that adjusting the fee schedule is

    necessary to fully recover costs and maintain adequate service. DHS published a

    proposed fee schedule on May 4, 2016.

    Under this final rule, DHS will increase fees by a weighted average of 21 percent;

    establish a new fee of $3,035 covering USCIS costs related to processing the

    Employment Based Immigrant Visa, Fifth Preference (EB-5) Annual Certification of

    Regional Center, Form I-924A; establish a three-level fee for the Application for

    Naturalization, Form N-400; and remove regulatory provisions that prevent USCIS from

    rejecting an immigration or naturalization benefit request paid with a dishonored check or

    lacking the required biometric services fee until the remitter has been provided an

    opportunity to correct the deficient payment.

    https://federalregister.gov/d/2016-25328 https://federalregister.gov/d/2016-25328.pdf

  • DATES: This rule is effective [Insert date 60 days from date of publication in the

    FEDERAL REGISTER]. Applications or petitions mailed, postmarked, or otherwise

    filed on or after [Insert date 60 days from date of publication in the FEDERAL

    REGISTER] must include the new fee.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Joseph D. Moore, Chief Financial

    Officer, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Department of Homeland Security,

    20 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20529-2130, telephone 202-272-1969.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    TABLE OF CONTENTS

    I. Executive Summary.

    II. Background.

    III. Final Rule.

    A. Changes in the Final Rule.

    B. Corrections.

    C. Summary of Final Fees.

    IV. Public Comments on the Proposed Rule.

    A. General Comments.

    B. Relative Amount of Fees.

    1. Proposed Fees Are Too High.

    a. Barrier to Family Reunification.

    b. Impact on Low-Income Individuals; Low Volume Reallocation.

    2. Comments on Specific Fees and Adjustments.

    a. Application for Certificate of Citizenship, Forms N-600/600K.

    b. Adoption, Forms I-600/600A/800/800A.

    c. Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, Form I-129.

    d. Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status,

    Form I-485, and Interim Benefits.

    e. Application for Travel Document, Form I-131.

    f. Students.

    g. Application for Replacement Naturalization/Citizenship

    Certificate, Form N-565.

    h. Petition for Alien Relative, Form I-130.

    i. Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card, Form I-90.

    j. Genealogy, Forms G-1041/1041A.

    k. Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence, Form I-751.

    l. Petition for Alien Fiancé(e), Form I-129F.

  • m. Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant,

    Form I-360.

    n. Notice of Appeal or Motion, Form I-290B.

    o. Application for Civil Surgeon Designation, Form I-910.

    p. Application for Advance Permission to Enter as a

    Nonimmigrant, Form I-192, and Application for Waiver of

    Passport and/or Visa, Form I-193.

    C. Fee Waivers and Exemptions.

    D. Naturalization.

    E. Improve Service and Reduce Inefficiencies.

    F. Premium Processing.

    G. Immigrant Investors.

    1. Application for Regional Center Under the Immigrant Investor

    Program, Form I-924.

    2. Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur, Form I-526.

    3. Petition by Entrepreneur to Remove Conditions on Permanent Resident

    Status, Form I-829.

    H. Methods Used to Determine Fee Amounts.

    1. Recovery of Full Cost Without Appropriations.

    2. Exclusion of Temporary or Uncertain Costs, Items, and Programs.

    3. Setting Fees by Benefit Type.

    4. Income-Based Fee Structure.

    5. Reduction in USCIS Costs.

    I. Dishonored Payments.

    J. Refunds.

    K. Visa Allocation.

    L. Credit Card Payments.

    V. Statutory and Regulatory Reviews.

    A. Regulatory Flexibility Act – Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis.

    1. A Statement of the Need for, and Objectives of, the Rule.

    2. A Statement of the Significant Issues Raised by the Public Comments

    in Response to the Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis, A Statement

    of the Assessment of the Agency of Such Issues, and A Statement of

    Any Changes Made in the Proposed Rule as a Result of Such

    Comments.

    a. Comments on Form I-129.

    b. Comments on Forms I-360 and I-485.

    c. Comments on Forms G-1041 and G-1041A.

    d. Comments on Form I-924A.

    3. The Response of the Agency to Any Comments Filed by the Chief

    Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration in

    Response to the Proposed Rule, and a Detailed Statement of Any

    Change Made to the Proposed Rule in the Final Rule as a Result of the

    Comments.

  • 4. A Description of and an Estimate of the Number of Small Entities to

    Which the Rule Will Apply or an Explanation of Why No Such

    Estimate is Available.

    a. Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, Form I-129.

    b. Immigrant Petition for an Alien Worker, Form I-140.

    c. Application for Civil Surgeon Designation, Form I-910.

    d. Regional Center Designation Under the Immigrant Investor

    Program, Form I-924 and I-924A.

    e. Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant, Form

    I-360.

    5. A Description of the Projected Reporting, Recordkeeping and Other

    Compliance Requirements of the Rule, Including an Estimate of the

    Classes of Small Entities Which Will Be Subject to the Requirement

    and the Type of Professional Skills Necessary For Preparation of the

    Report or Record.

    6. A Description of the Steps the Agency has Taken to Minimize the

    Significant Economic Impact on Small Entities Consistent With the

    Stated Objectives of Applicable Statutes, Including a Statement of the

    Factual, Policy, and Legal Reasons for Selecting the Alternative

    Adopted in the Final Rule and Why Each One of the Other Significant

    Alternatives to the Rule Considered by the Agency Which Affect the

    Impact on Small Entities was Rejected.

    B. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act.

    C. Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act.

    D. Congressional Review Act.

    E. Executive Orders (EO) 12866 and 13563 (Regulatory Planning and Review).

    1. Background and Purpose of the Final Rule.

    2. Amendments and Impacts of Regulatory Change.

    a. Dishonored Payments.

    b. Failure to Pay the Biometric Services Fees.

    c. Reduced Fee for Application for Naturalization.

    d. Refunds.

    F. Executive Order 13132 (Federalism).

    G. Executive Order 12988 (Civil Justice Reform).

    H. Family Assessment.

    I. Paperwork Reduction Act - Comments on the Proposed Information Collection

    Changes.

    1. Request for Reduced Fee, Form I-942.

    2. Annual Certification of Regional Center, Form I-924A.

    I. Executive Summary.

    The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is adjusting the fee schedule for

    U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). USCIS conducted a comprehensive

  • fee review for the FY 2016/2017 biennial period, refined its cost accounting process, and

    determined that current fees do not recover the full costs of services provided. DHS has

    determined that adjusting USCIS’ fee schedule is necessary to fully recover costs and

    maintain adequate service.

    In this final rule, DHS will:

     Adjust fees by a weighted average increase of 21 percent to ensure that

    fees for each benefit type are adequate to cover USCIS’ costs associated

    with processing applications and petitions, as well as providing similar

    benefits to asylum and refugee applicants 1 and certain other immigrants at

    no charge.

     Establish a new fee of $3,035 to recover the full cost of processing the

    Employment Based Immigrant Visa, Fifth Preference (EB-5) Annual

    Certification of Regional Center, Form I-924A.

     Establish a three-level fee for Application for Naturalization, Form N-400.

    First, DHS will increase the standard fee for Form N-400 from $595 to

    $640. Second, DHS