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USCIS Fee Changes

USCIS Fee Changes

Dear UTA International Students:

We are writing with a very important update regarding upcoming fee changes at the USCIS. This will affect you if you plan on applying for any of the following: Optional Practical Training (OPT), 24 Month STEM Extension of OPT, Change of Status, Reinstatement, J-2 Work Authorization or Economic Hardship Work Authorization. These applications all require Form I-765 or Form I-539.

Unfortunately, fees for these applications are increasing as of December 23, 2016. A complete list of the increases can be found at: https://www.uscis.gov/forms/our-fees Form I-765 is increasing from $380 to $410 and Form I-539 is increasing from $290 to $370.

HOW CAN THIS AFFECT YOU?

If your application is received by USCIS with the incorrect fee, it will be refused and returned to you. The USCIS requires time to review applications and it also takes time to return incorrect applications in the mail. This could cause problems for you if your application is time-sensitive and it is returned to you after your application window closes (for example, graduating students have a 60-day grace period after their completion date). In such cases, you will no longer be eligible for that benefit. Thus, it is essential to properly file your application with the correct fee.

WHAT SHOULD YOU DO NEXT?

If you plan to apply for anything involving any of the forms mentioned at https://www.uscis.gov/forms/our-fees , be sure to time your application’s arrival to coincide with the correct fees. For example, if you will mail an OPT application to the USCIS and you are sure it will arrive on December 22 or earlier, use the current filing fee of $380. If the same application will arrive at the USCIS on December 23 or after, use the new filing fee of $410.

If your application arrives before the fee increase but your fee payment is the new rate, it is our understanding that your application will be refused and returned to you.