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USCIS fee changes stopped… for now

| Sep 30, 2020 | Immigration Law

On August 3, 2020, USCIS published major changes to their filing fees for USCIS forms and services. Originally, these changes were set to come into effect on October 2, 2020. As a result, immigrants across the globe have been scrambling to file their cases to beat the deadline. However, on September 29, 2020, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California issued an order immediately halting implementation of the rule in its entirety. The District Court based its decision on the central reasoning that:

 

  1. The Acting DHS Secretary (Chad Wolf) promulgating the new rule likely lacked authority to issue the rule because he was not lawfully serving in the role under the Homeland Security Act (HSA) and the Federal Vacancies Reform Act (FVRA).
  2. The DHS rule likely violates some procedural and substantive requirements under the Administrative Procedures Act (APA).

Notably, this is only a temporary stay in effect while the larger case surrounding the validity of the fee rule is litigated. For now, the current fee schedules will remain in effect, and no fees will change on October 2, 2020.