By Joey Barnett
The White House received the final rule containing new USCIS fees on Monday, January 8, 2024, and the Final Fee Rule should be published within the next few weeks. USCIS has stated that a significant increase in immigration filing fees is necessary to costs and better manage its workload. Once published in the Federal Register the increase is likely to take effect 60 days later.
Here are five things to know for EB-5 immigrant investors and Regional Centers:
- Why is USCIS Increasing Fees?
USCIS says current fees do not cover costs and they need an increase to avoid backlogs as 96% of its funding is from filing fees.
2. New I-526/I-526E Filing Fee May Be $11,160.
The proposed increase for Form I-526 (direct) and Form I-526E (regional center) petitions is an increase of 204% from $3,675 to $11,160. Avoid wasting $7,485 by filing in the next month or two.
3. New I-829 Filing Fee May Be $9,525.
The proposed increase for Form I-829 petitions in an increase of 154% from $3,750 to $9,525. Avoid wasting another $5,775 if you will be within the 90-day window to file your removal of conditions soon.
4. New I-956 Filing Fee May Be $47,695.
The increase for Form I-956, Application for Regional Center Designation of 168%, from $17,795 to $47,695. While the proposed rule does not mention the Form I-956F, Application for Approval of an Investment in a Commercial Enterprise it appears likely that USCIS will increase those filing fees as well. To avoid a $29,900 increase file as soon as possible if seeking a new Regional Center Designation.
5. Fee Study Required by the EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act of 2022?
DHS is gathering information to evaluate EB-5 fees to meet guidelines and processing time requirements in the EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act of 2022. The law requires a fee study no later than one year after the date of its enactment, that is by March 15, 2023.
The law requires this be done “no later than 60 days after completing the study.” Sadly these deadlines could result in further fee increase.
To schedule a consultation with a WR Immigration attorney to discuss your EB-5 goals, please schedule here!