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Immigration Update

November 9, 2010

It is expected that comprehensive immigration reform efforts will remain stalled both during the lame duck session and in the 112th Congress. The shift in control of the House of Representatives will likely result in more support for enforcement-only legislation, increased resources for border and interior enforcement and greater scrutiny of the administration's enforcement of immigration laws. We also anticipate proposals to increase penalties for immigration-related crimes, streamline the removal process for immigrants convicted of crimes and further increase the role of local law enforcement in immigration enforcement.

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 Type

Current Fee

New 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

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. As of October 31, 2010, Puerto Rican birth certificates issued before July 1, 2010 may not be presented for any purpose. Employers may only accept Puerto Rican birth certificates issued on or after July 1, 2010 for Form I-9 purposes. 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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