One Park Plaza
3250 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 1918
Los Angeles, CA 90010
Tel: (213)383-3222
Fax: (213)365-9922
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On October 2, 2020, a new FEE SCHEDULE becomes effective for all Petitions, Applications, etc. filed with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The Schedule was published a few weeks ago, showing the “old” fees, the “new” fees and even the differences between them. But, some increases were not published, they were sort of hidden.
The published schedule shows the fees for an Application for Adjustment of Status – Form I-485 (Green Card) as: OLD FEE - $1,140, NEW FEE - $1,130. No increase. Actually, a reduction of $10. How nice.
But the published schedule does not tell you that if you file, at the same time, together with Form I-485, also Form I-765 (for Employment Authorization), the new fee will be $550, while the old fee was 0 (yes, zero) dollars. And if you also file a Form I-131 (for a Travel Document), the new fee will be $590, while old fee was 0 (yes, zero) dollars.
In most cases, the Application for Adjustment of Status (Form I-485) is, actually, a package of four (4) applications. We call it “Combined Processing”. The new fee picture for such a “combined processing” per person (adult or child) will be:
          Such visas are for aliens with a university or a college degree, who have an offer of employment from a company in the U.S., for a position which requires such a degree (as the degree held by the alien).
The government claims that American companies employ H-1B aliens after they first fire American workers from the same positions. They then hire the H-1B aliens at lower salaries.
As a preventative measure against such conduct by American employers, the USCIS is preparing new Regulations that will (a) change the definition of SPECIALTY OCCUPATIONS and (b) require higher salaries for aliens imported to the U.S. on H-1B temporary working visas.
Seven (7) months ago, in February 2020, USCIS begun implementing the new, very restrictive Public Charge rules. At the time, it was blocked by a Federal Judge. However, on September 11, 2020, a higher Federal court removed the “blockage” and now USCIS is free to impose the new Public Charge rules on all applicants for Adjustment of Status (Green Cards).
The basic difference is that previously, if the applicant had an Affidavit of Support by a relative or a friend, this was it. No more proof was required. Now, the Immigration Officer needs to make an “evaluation” (actually, a prediction) whether the applicant is “LIKELY” to become a Public Charge sometime in the future. This evaluation is to be based on “factors”, such as the age and health condition of the applicant, their language ability and employment skills and their past financial history.
If the applicant provides an Affidavit of Support from a person who is not a close relative, it is necessary to provide also a declaration explaining why this person is willing to support the applicant.
All this requires also completing the new Form I-944, holding 18 pages.
USCIS is planning many changes for Foreign Students on F-1 or J-1 visas. The most important change would be about the duration of student visas.
At present, a person who obtains F-1 status, is granted length of stay “D/S”, meaning: Duration of Studies, or as long as they attend school.
This gives some people the ability to become “eternal students”, to stay legally in the U.S. as students endlessly (if they have the financial ability for that).
Now comes the USCIS and proposes to limit the duration of a student visa to the length of the school program: sometimes four (4) years and sometimes two (2) years. For good reasons, the foreign student may get an extension.
3250 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 1918
Los Angeles, CA 90010
(213) 383-3222