USCIS conducted a comprehensive fee review as we are required to do every two years by federal law and determined that current fees do not recover the full cost of providing adjudication and naturalization services. Therefore, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is publishing a proposed rule that would adjust the USCIS fee schedule to fully recover our operational costs, in order to reestablish and maintain timely USCIS service levels as well as improve the customer experience.
As explained in greater detail below, core elements of the proposed rule include:
- Preserving existing fee waiver eligibility for low-income and vulnerable populations;
- Adding new fee exemptions for certain humanitarian programs;
- Limiting the fee increase for naturalization applicants; and
- Distributing fees based primarily on the filers’ ability to pay.
Note that this is a proposed rule, with a 60-day public comment period that begins on the date specified in the Federal Register. The USCIS fee schedule will not change until a final rule is ultimately published and goes into effect.