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USCIS Waives Biometrics Fee for Majority of Immigration Cases

USCIS Fee Restructure: Biometrics Costs Now Integrated within Filing Fees


WASHINGTON, DC- U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has implemented a significant change to streamline and reduce the cost of immigration processes. Starting April 1, 2024, they have eliminated the additional fee for biometrics (such as fingerprints and photographs) for most applications.

Biometrics refer to physical characteristics like fingerprints and photographs that are unique to each individual. USCIS collects biometrics to verify applicants’ identities and enhance the security of the immigration system.

This recent rule change has notably decreased the number of applications requiring a separate biometrics fee. Now, the cost of biometrics is included in the main filing fee for most applications, making the process more efficient and economical for many immigrants.

Previously, most applications necessitated a separate biometrics fee. This included applications for:
• Green Cards (Form I-485): Used for adjusting status to become a lawful permanent resident.

• Work Permits (Form I-765): Utilized to apply for authorization to work in the United States.

• Travel Documents (Form I-131): Applied for permission to travel outside the U.S. and return as a lawful permanent resident or other eligible nonimmigrant.

• Naturalization (Form N-400): Applied for U.S. citizenship.

• Various other forms: Depending on the specific benefit sought, several other applications and petitions also required a separate biometrics fee.

Since October 1, 2023, the biometrics fee has been waived for applicants using Form I-539 (Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status).

While this change applies to most applications, there are a few exceptions. Individuals applying for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) or certain cases handled by the Executive Office for Immigration Review will still be required to pay a small $30 fee for biometrics. These exceptions exist due to differing processing requirements or additional security checks associated with these types of cases.

USCIS’s decision to eliminate the biometrics fee while adjusting other fees is a strategic move aimed at simplifying the application process, improving accessibility, and addressing stakeholder feedback. By merging the biometrics fee with the main filing fee, USCIS streamlines the process and enhances cost recovery, offsetting potential revenue loss through adjustments in other fees. This decision underscores USCIS’s commitment to balancing affordability and operational needs, ensuring a more transparent and accessible immigration experience for applicants.




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