The proposed fee rule is the result of a comprehensive fee review at USCIS. That review determined that the agency’s current fees, which have remained unchanged since 2016, fall far short of recovering the full cost of agency operations. USCIS generally publishes a fee rule biennially, and proposes these changes to account for the expansion of humanitarian programs, federally mandated pay raises, additional staffing requirements, and other essential investments. In 2020, the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic led to a dramatic reduction in receipts of new applications, resulting in a temporary drop in revenue by 40 percent. The combination of depleted cash reserves, a temporary hiring freeze, and workforce attrition has reduced the agency’s capacity to timely adjudicate cases, particularly as incoming caseloads rebound to pre-pandemic levels. The proposed rule would increase some fees, including a modest increase in the fee for certain naturalization applications, while preserving existing fee waiver eligibility for low-income and vulnerable populations and adding new fee exemptions for certain humanitarian programs. If finalized, the proposed rule would decrease or minimally increase fees for more than one million low-income filers each year.