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Immigration Update: Filing Fees, Diversity Visa Lottery and Puerto Rican Birth Certificates

September 29, 2010

USCIS Announces Filing Fee Increases

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) has announced a new fee schedule for immigration applications and petitions filed on or after November 23, 2010. Filing fees will increase by an average of 10%. The table below details the fee increase for commonly filed applications.

Application TypeCurrent FeeNew Fee
Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker (I-129)H-1B Visa$320(plus $1,500 Training fee and $500 Fraud Prevention & Detection fee)$325(plus $1,500 Training fee and $500 Fraud Prevention & Detection fee)
Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker (I-129)L Visa$320(plus $500 Fraud Prevention & Detection fee)$325(plus $500 Fraud Prevention & Detection fee)
Relative Petition (I-130)$355$420
Petition for Immigrant Worker (I-140)$475$580
Application to Adjust Status to Permanent Resident for applicants over age 14 (I-485)$930(includes application for EAD and Travel Document)$985(includes application for EAD and Travel Document)
Application for Employment Authorization Document (EAD) (I-765)$340$380
Application for Travel Document (I-131)$305$360
Application for Naturalization (N-400)$595$595
Biometrics(required for various applications)$80$85
Premium Processing (I-907)$1000$1225

Diversity Visa Lottery Registration Opens October 5, 2010

Each year the U.S. Department of State distributes 50,000 immigrant visas to applicants from qualifying countries in a random drawing pursuant to the Diversity Visa Lottery Program. The application period for the 2012 Diversity Visa Lottery is 12:00 p.m. EST Tuesday, October 5, 2010 through 12:00 p.m. EST Wednesday, November 3, 2010. Applicants must apply on-line at The Department of State will disqualify all entries by an applicant if more than one entry for that applicant is received.

Puerto Rican Birth Certificates

On July 1, 2010, the Vital Statistics Office of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico began issuing new secure certified copies of birth certificates to US citizens born in Puerto Rico due to the prevalence of fraud and identity theft associated with Puerto Rican birth certificates. After October 31, 2010, Puerto Rican birth certificates issued before July 1, 2010 may not be presented for any purpose. Employers completing I-9 forms may continue to accept Puerto Rican birth certificates issued prior to July 1, 2010 through October 30, 2010. On or after October 31, 2010, employers may only accept Puerto Rican birth certificates issued on or after July 1, 2010. Employers should not reverify I-9 documentation of employees who presented old Puerto Rican birth certificates prior to October 31, 2010.

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