DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

[CIS No. 2352-05]
RIN 1615-ZA23


Adjustment of the Immigration Benefit Application Fee Schedule

AGENCY: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Department of
Homeland Security.

ACTION: Notice.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: This Notice announces that the Department of Homeland
Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, will increase the
fees for immigration benefit applications and petitions to account for
cost increases due to inflation. The fee increases will apply to
applications or petitions filed on or after October 26, 2005. The
average fee increase for inflation is approximately $10 per application
or petition. Fees collected from persons filing immigration benefit
applications and petitions are deposited into the Immigration
Examinations Fee Account and are used to fund the full cost of
providing immigration benefits, including the full cost of providing
benefits such as asylum and refugee admission for which no fees are
assessed.

DATES: This notice is effective October 26, 2005.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Paul Schlesinger, Director, Office of
Budget, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, 20 Massachusetts
Ave., NW., Suite 4052, Washington, DC 20529, telephone (202) 272-1930.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Under What Legal Authority Does U.S. Citizenship and Immigration
Services Have To Charge Fees?

The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) provides for the
collection of fees at a level that will ensure recovery of the full
costs of providing adjudication and naturalization services, including
the costs of providing similar services without charge to asylum
applicants and other immigrants. 8 U.S.C. 1356(m). The INA also states
that the fees may recover administrative costs as well. Id. This
revenue remains available to provide immigration and naturalization
benefits and the collection, safeguarding, and accounting for fees. Id.
at 1356(n).
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) must also conform
to the requirements of the Chief Financial Officers Act of 1990 (CFO
Act), Public Law 101-576, 104 Stat. 2838 (1990) (codified at 31 U.S.C.
901-903). Section 205(a)(8) of the CFO Act requires each agency's Chief
Financial Officer to ``review, on a biennial basis, the fees,
royalties, rents, and other charges imposed by the agency for services
and things of value it provides, and make recommendations on revising
those charges to reflect costs incurred by it in providing those
services and things of value.'' 31 U.S.C. 902(a)(8).

What Federal Cost Accounting and Fee Setting Standards and Guidelines
Were Used in Developing These Fee Changes?

The authority provided by section 286(m) of the INA permits USCIS
to recover the full costs of providing all immigration adjudication and
naturalization services, including those services provided to
individuals other than those paying fees. When developing fees for
services, USCIS also looks, to the extent applicable, to the cost
accounting concepts and standards recommended by the Federal Accounting
Standards Advisory Board (FASAB). The FASAB was established in 1990,
and its purpose is to recommend accounting standards for the Federal
Government. The FASAB defines ``full cost'' to include ``direct and
indirect costs that contribute to the output, regardless of funding
sources.'' Federal Accounting Standards Advisory Board, Statement of
Financial Accounting Standards No. 4: Managerial Cost Accounting
Concepts and Standards for the Federal Government 36 (July 31, 1995).
To obtain full cost, FASAB identifies various classifications of costs
to be included, and recommends various methods of cost assignment. Id.
at 36-42. Full costs include, but are not limited to, an appropriate
share of:
(a) Direct and indirect personnel costs, including salaries and
fringe benefits such as medical insurance and retirement;
(b) Physical overhead, consulting, and other indirect costs,
including material and supply costs, utilities, insurance, travel and
rents or imputed rents on land, buildings, and equipment; and,
(c) Management and supervisory costs.
Full costs are determined based upon the best available records of
the agency.

How Is the Processing of Immigration Benefit Applications Funded and
Supported?

In 1988, Congress established the Immigration Examination Fee
Account (IEFA). See 100 Public Law 459, 209, 102 Stat. at 2203. Since
1989, fees deposited into the IEFA have been the primary source of
funding for providing immigration and naturalization benefits, and
other benefits as directed by Congress. In subsequent legislation,
Congress directed that the IEFA fund the cost of asylum processing and
other services provided to immigrants at no charge. See 101 Public Law
515, 210(d)(2), 104 Stat. at 2121. Consequently, the immigration
benefit application fees were increased to recover these additional
costs. The current immigration benefit application fees are based on
the review conducted in 1997, adjusted for cost of living increases and
other factors; the fees were last changed effective April 30, 2004. 69
FR 20528. The current fees also include a $5 per immigration benefit
application surcharge to recover information technology and quality
assurance costs. This surcharge allows USCIS to improve upon the
delivery of

[[Page 56183]]

services to its customers such as offering electronic filing for
certain immigration benefit applications.

What Is the Authority of USCIS To Adjust Immigration Benefit
Application Fees for Inflation by Federal Register Notice?

The authority for adjusting immigration benefit application fees
for inflation by Federal Register Notice is contained in 8 CFR
103.7(b)(3):

The fees prescribed in paragraph (b)(1) of this section shall be
adjusted annually on or after October 1, 2005, by publication of an
inflation adjustment. The inflation adjustment will be announced by
notice in the Federal Register, and the adjustment shall be a
composite of the Federal civilian pay raise assumption and non-pay
inflation factor for that fiscal year issued by the Office of
Management and Budget for agency use in implementing OMB Circular A-
76, weighted by pay and non-pay proportions of total funding for
that fiscal year. If Congress enacts a different Federal civilian
pay raise percentage than the percentage issued by OMB for Circular
A-76, the Department of Homeland Security may adjust the fees,
during the current year or a following year to reflect the enacted
level. The prescribed fee or charge shall be the amount prescribed
in paragraph (b)(1) of this section, plus the latest inflation
adjustment, rounded to the nearest $5 increment.

See generally 69 FR 20528 (2004).
Beginning on October 26, 2005, the public should no longer rely on
the fee schedule set forth in 8 CFR 103.7(b)(1) as the fees specified
in the 103.7(b)(1) schedule do not include the inflation adjustments
described in this Notice. The changes to the fees announced in this
Notice will appear on the companion instructions to the application/
petition forms.

What Is the Basis for the Fee Adjustments for Inflation?

The current fees are adjusted for the fiscal year (FY) 2006 and FY
2007 biennial period by pay (Federal employee payroll and benefits) and
non-pay (contracts, utilities, rent, etc.) inflation factors issued by
the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) used in implementing OMB
Circular A-76 (Performance of Commercial Activities). OMB Circular A-76
publishes the inflation factors used in calculating pay and non-pay
increases contained in the President's annual budget request. Since
Congress enacted a different federal civilian pay raise percentage than
the percentage used in calculating the current fees for the FY 2004 and
FY 2005 biennial period, the fees are also adjusted to reflect the
congressionally-enacted levels. For example, because the fees were
adjusted using a 1.7 percent pay raise factor in FY 2005, whereas
Congress enacted a 3.65 percent pay raise factor the fees are raised by
the difference, 1.95 percent. See 8 CFR 103.7(b)(3). The fees are
rounded up or down to the nearest $5 increment consistent with past fee
adjustment practices. Id. The average fee increase is $10, but the
amount varies from $5-$20 relative to the amount of the application/
petition fee. Even with the inflationary fee adjustments, the fees
collected do not exceed the full cost of providing immigration
benefits, including the full cost of providing benefits such as asylum
and refugee admission for which no fees are assessed.
The methodology basically has two components: one that accounts for
the difference between the enacted and projected inflation levels
imbedded in the current fees for the FY 2004 and FY 2005 biennial
period, and one that accounts for the projected inflation levels for
the FY 2006 and FY 2007 biennial period. As an example of the
methodology, an inflationary increase of $6.86 was originally built
into the current $315 fee for the Form I-485 (Application to Register
Permanent Residence or to Adjust Status) for the FY 2004 and FY 2005
biennial period. Based on the projected pay inflation factors of 2.3
percent (1.7 percent for three-quarters of the 2004 calendar year; 4.1
percent for one-quarter of the 2004 calendar year) and 1.7 percent
(entire 2005 calendar year) versus enacted inflation factors of 4.1
percent (entire 2004 calendar year) and 3.65 percent (3.5 percent for
three-quarters of the 2005 calendar year; 4.1 percent for one-quarter
of the 2005 calendar year) for fiscal years 2004 and 2005, the
inflationary increase should have been 3.13 percent, or $9.86. The net
difference of $3.00 increases the costs of the Form I-485 from $313.63
to $316.63. However, rounding down to the nearest $5 increment did not
change the $315 current fee for the Form I-485. Based on the projected
pay inflation factors of 2.8 percent (2.6 percent for three-quarters of
the calendar year; 3.5 percent for one-quarter of the calendar year)
and 2.6 percent (entire calendar year) for fiscal years 2006 and 2007,
the inflationary increase is $10.25. This increases the costs of the
Form I-485 from $315 to $325.25. Rounding down to the nearest $5
increment raises the fee by $10, from $315 to $325. The total fee
increase is $10.
As stated previously, the size of the fee increase varies relative
to the amount of the application/petition fee. However, rounding
discrepancies account for exceptions to this general rule. For example,
even though the current fee for the Form I-193 (Application for Waiver
of Passport and/or Visa) is smaller than the Form I-485 fee, the fee
increase is greater. This is because the Form I-193 was rounding up to
the nearest $5 increment and the Form I-485 was rounding down to the
nearest $5 increment. An inflationary increase of $5.25 was originally
built into the current $250 fee for the Form I-193 for the FY 2004 and
2005 biennial period. Based on the projected pay inflation factors of
2.3 percent (1.7 percent for three-quarters of the calendar year; 4.1
percent for one-quarter of the calendar year) and 1.7 percent (entire
calendar year) versus enacted inflation factors of 4.1 percent (entire
calendar year) and 3.65 percent (3.5 percent for three-quarters of the
calendar year; 4.1 percent for one-quarter of the calendar year) for
fiscal years 2004 and 2005, the actual inflationary increase is $7.54.
The net difference of $2.30 increases the costs of the Form I-193 from
$252.02 to $254.31. In this case, rounding up to the nearest $5
increment increased the current fee for the Form I-193 from $250 to
$255. Based on the projected pay inflation factors of 2.8 percent (2.6
percent for three-quarters of the calendar year; 3.5 percent for one-
quarter of the calendar year) and 2.6 percent (entire calendar year)
for fiscal years 2006 and 2007, the inflationary increase is $8.30.
This increases the costs of the Form I-193 from $255 to $263.30.
Rounding up to the nearest $5 increment raises the fee by $10, from
$255 to $265. The total fee increase is $15.
Besides the normal payroll increases mandated for government
employees each year, inflation-based cost increases have appeared in
significant non-payroll items such as rent, physical security,
investment technology, and contracts. More specifically, USCIS has
observed cost increases due to inflation in some of its largest
contracts including those for Service Center operations, adjudications
clerical support, Application Support Centers, card production
facilities, the National Records Center, the National Benefits Center,
and the National Customer Service Center.


What Are the New Application Fees and How Do the New Fees Compare to
the Current Fees?

The new immigration benefit application fees and their dollar
differences are displayed in Table 1.

Table 1.--Current Versus New Application and Petition Fees
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Form No. Description New fee Current fee Change
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I-90.................................. Application to Replace Permanent $190 $185 $5
Resident Card.
I-102................................. Application for Replacement/Initial 160 155 5
Nonimmigrant Arrival/Departure
Record.
I-129................................. Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker... 190 185 5
I-129F................................ Petition for Alien Fianc[eacute](e).. 170 165 5
I-130................................. Petition for Alien Relative.......... 190 185 5
I-131................................. Application for Travel Document...... 170 165 5
I-140................................. Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker.. 195 190 5
I-191................................. Application for Permission to Return 265 250 15
to an Unrelinquished Domicile.
I-192................................. Application for Advance Permission to 265 250 15
Enter as a Nonimmigrant.
I-193................................. Application for Waiver of Passport 265 250 15
and/or Visa.
I-212................................. Application for Permission to Reapply 265 250 15
for Admission into the U.S. After
Deportation or Removal.
I-360................................. Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or 190 185 5
Special Immigrant.
I-485................................. Application to Register Permanent \1\325 315 10
Residence or to Adjust Status.
I-526................................. Immigrant Petition by Alien 480 465 15
Entrepreneur.
I-539................................. Application to Extend/Change 200 195 5
Nonimmigrant Status.
I-600/600A............................ Petition to Classify Orphan as an 545 525 20
Immediate Relative/Application for
Advance Processing or Orphan
Petition.
I-601................................. Application for Waiver on Grounds of 265 250 15
Excludability.
I-612................................. Application for Waiver of the Foreign 265 250 15
Residence Requirement.
I-687................................. For Filing Application for Status as \2\255 240 15
a Temporary Resident.
I-690................................. Application for Waiver of 95 90 5
Excludability.
I-694................................. Notice of Appeal of Decision......... 110 105 5
I-698................................. Application to Adjust Status from \3\180 175 5
Temporary to Permanent Resident.
I-751................................. Petition to Remove the Conditions on 205 200 5
Residence.
I-765................................. Application for Employment 180 175 5
Authorization.
I-817................................. Application for Family Unity Benefits 200 195 5
I-824................................. Application for Action on an Approved 200 195 5
Application or Petition.
I-829................................. Petition by Entrepreneur to Remove 475 455 20
Conditions.
I-881................................. NACARA--Suspension of Deportation or \4\285 275 10
Application for Special Rule
Cancellation of Removal.
I-914................................. Application for T Nonimmigrant Status \5\270 255 15
N-300................................. Application to File Declaration of 120 115 5
Intention.
N-336................................. Request for Hearing on a Decision in 265 250 15
Naturalization Procedures.
N-400................................. Application for Naturalization....... 330 320 10
N-470................................. Application to Preserve Residence for 155 150 5
Naturalization Purposes.
N-565................................. Application for Replacement 220 210 10
Naturalization Citizenship Document.
N-600................................. Application for Certification of 255 240 15
Citizenship.
N-600K................................ Application for Citizenship and \6\255 240 15
Issuance of Certificate under
Section 322.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ 225 for an applicant under the age of 14 years (a $10 increase from the current $215). See 8 CFR
103.7(b)(1).
\2\ A fee of $255 for each application or $120 for each application for a minor child (under 18 years of age) is
required at the time of filing with the Department of Homeland Security. The maximum amount payable by a
family (husband, wife, and any minor children) shall be $630. See 8 CFR 103.7(b)(1).
\3\ For applicants filing within 31 months from the date of adjustment to temporary resident status, a fee of
$140 for each application is required at the time of filing with the Department of Homeland Security. The
maximum amount payable by a family (husband, wife, and any minor children (under 18 years of age living at
home) shall be $420. For applicants filing after 31 months from the date of approval of temporary resident
status, who file their applications on or after July 9, 1991, a fee of $180 (a maximum of $540 per family) is
required. See 8 CFR 103.7(b)(1).
\4\ $285 for adjudication by the Department of Homeland Security, except that the maximum amount payable by
family members (related as husband, wife, unmarried child under 21, unmarried son, or unmarried daughter) who
submit applications at the same time shall be $570. $165 for adjudication by the Immigration Court (a single
fee of $165 will be charged whenever applications are filed by two or more aliens in the same proceedings).
See 8 CFR 103.7(b)(1).
\5\ For each immediate family member included on the same application, an additional fee of $120 per person, up
to a maximum amount payable per application of $540. See 8 CFR 103.7(b)(1).
\6\ $215 for an application filed on behalf of an adopted child. 8 CFR 103.7(b)(1).

Paperwork Reduction Act

Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13, 109
Stat. 163 (1995), all Departments are required to submit to OMB, for
review and approval, any reporting or recordkeeping requirements
inherent in a regulatory action. This Notice does not impose any new
reporting or recordkeeping requirements under the Paperwork Reduction
Act. Appropriate paperwork will be filed with OMB to reflect the change
in the annual public cost for each information collection.

Dated: September 21, 2005.
Robert C. Divine,
Acting Deputy Director, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
[FR Doc. 05-19226 Filed 9-23-05; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4410-10-P