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Federal Court Blocks Scheduled USCIS Fee Increase

On Tuesday, September 29, 2020, a federal district court issued a nationwide injunction that prevents USCIS from implementing a set of fee increases that was scheduled to take place on Friday, October 2.

The injunction is only temporary, but it prevents DHS from enforcing the fee increase while the lawsuit goes through due process. Judge Jeffrey S. White of the Federal District Court for the Northern District of California blocked the increase with the argument that the acting Homeland Security Secretary was unlawfully appointed and didn’t have the authority to make the decision.

Originally announced on July 31, 2020, the USCIS fee increase would have applied to a wide variety of visa categories, including H-1B and L-1. It would have also required a new set of forms for adjustment of status applications (which had yet to be released to the public) and extended the premium processing window from 15 calendar days to 15 business days.

For now, petitioners and applicants will not see any changes in fees, required forms, or processing times. DHS is likely to appeal the federal district court’s decision, and USCIS is expected to release an update regarding the changes that would have taken effect just three days from now.

The case is called Immigrant Legal Resource Center, et al., v. Chad F. Wolf, et al.

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