I-765 Filing Fee: Essential Cost Insights for Your Application

When navigating the U.S. immigration process, applicants seeking employment authorization must familiarize themselves with Form I-765, known as the Application for Employment Authorization. This form serves as a request for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD), which provides the legal ability to work in the United States for a certain period, depending on the applicant’s immigration status or specific conditions of parole.

The cost associated with filing Form I-765 typically stands at $410, although this fee can vary. Certain applicants might be eligible for a fee exemption, while others may incur additional costs if their application requires biometric services. Furthermore, it’s important for applicants to use the most updated resources, such as the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Fee Calculator, to ascertain the correct amount to include in their filing package, avoiding potential delays in the processing of their work authorization.

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The procedure and associated costs can fluctuate based on legislative changes and USCIS policy updates. Hence, applicants are advised to refer to the latest official instructions provided by USCIS to ensure an accurate and complete application process.

Overview of I-765 Filing Fee

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) requires applicants to submit a Form I-765, also known as the Application for Employment Authorization, to obtain legal work authorization in the country. A filing fee is typically associated with this application.

As of the current knowledge, the standard filing fee for the I-765 form is:

  • $410 for the application
  • Additional $85 for the Biometric Services fee, if applicable

The Biometric Services fee is mandatory for certain eligibility categories. Applicants should verify whether their specific category requires this additional fee.

In certain circumstances, exemptions to the filing fee may apply. For instance, specific categories of parolees may not be required to pay the I-765 filing fee at all.

Payment methods accepted by the USCIS include:

  • Personal check
  • Money order
  • Cashier’s check
  • Credit card (using Form G-1450)

When paying by credit card, it is crucial to note that there exists a daily transaction limit of $24,999.99 per credit card.

Applicants should ensure that they include the correct fee amount when submitting their application. Failure to include the correct fee could result in the rejection of the Form I-765. All fees should be verified against the latest USCIS guidelines prior to submission, as these amounts are subject to change.

Eligibility Criteria for Fee Exemption

When applying for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) using Form I-765, certain individuals may qualify for a fee exemption. The eligibility criteria for a fee exemption are strict and pertain specifically to applicants falling into several categories, including asylum applicants, refugees, and victims of trafficking.

Asylum Applicants

Asylum applicants are eligible for a fee exemption when filing Form I-765. They must already have an asylum application pending to qualify for this exemption. The individual should not have received a final decision on their asylum application to be eligible.

Refugees

Individuals granted refugee status in the United States are not required to pay the filing fee for Form I-765. As refugees are authorized to work by virtue of their status, they can apply for an EAD to demonstrate such authorization without the burden of the fee.

Victims of Trafficking

Victims of trafficking, classified under the T nonimmigrant status, are exempt from the I-765 filing fee. This exemption is critical to allow victims to obtain employment authorization as part of their integration and recovery process.

Payment Methods and Information

When filing Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, applicants must ensure the payment is made using acceptable methods. The fee is set and should be made payable to the appropriate department.

Acceptable Forms of Payment

USCIS accepts different forms of payment for the I-765 filing fee. Applicants can pay the fee by:

  • Check: A personal, cashier’s, attorney’s, or business check; all checks must be drawn on a U.S. financial institution.
  • Money Order: Obtained from a U.S. financial institution or the U.S. Postal Service.
  • Credit Card: By using Form G-1450, Authorization for Credit Card Transactions.

Payable To

The payment should be made payable to:

  • U.S. Department of Homeland Security: Do not use abbreviations like ‘DHS’ or ‘USDHS.’

Fee Amount

As of the latest update, the fee for filing Form I-765 is:

  • $410: This is the standard fee for most applicants. Certain categories of applicants may have a different fee structure or may be exempt from the fee.

Fee Waiver Eligibility and Procedure

Applying for employment authorization in the United States can be associated with various fees, but individuals who demonstrate financial hardship may be eligible to request a fee waiver. This section outlines specific requirements and steps to apply for a waiver of the filing fee for Form I-765.

Qualifications for Fee Waiver

An individual may qualify for a fee waiver if they can show that their household income is below 150% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines, they are experiencing financial hardship, or they are receiving a qualifying means-tested benefit. Circumstances that contribute to financial hardship, such as unexpected medical bills or emergencies, might also be considered.

Required Documentation

To support a fee waiver request, applicants must file Form I-912, Request for Fee Waiver, or submit a written request. They should provide evidence of their income, such as tax returns or pay stubs, to prove they meet the income criteria. If claiming financial hardship or receipt of a means-tested benefit, relevant documentation such as benefit award letters or bills should be included.

Application Process for Waiver

The applicant should file the waiver request concurrently with Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization. The Form I-912 or written request for a fee waiver must be filed; otherwise, USCIS will not process the application without the required fee. The USCIS explicitly notes that fee waiver requests cannot be submitted online; they require paper submission through mail.

Biometrics Services Fee

In addition to the standard filing fee, applicants filing Form I-765 may also be required to pay a Biometrics Services fee. This fee covers the cost of biometric identification services, which typically include fingerprinting, photographs, and electronic signature.

Biometrics Fee Requirements

The current Biometrics Services fee for immigration applications is $85. This fee is mandatory for all applicants who are required to undergo the biometric identification process. When submitting Form I-765, the Application for Employment Authorization, an individual must include this fee with their application package, unless they qualify for an exemption. Payment should be made in the manner prescribed by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), which accepts various forms of payment such as check, money order, or credit card issued by a U.S. bank.

Exemptions from Biometrics Fee

Certain categories of applicants are exempt from paying the Biometrics Services fee. These exemptions must be clearly noted and supported with appropriate documentation when filing Form I-765. Examples of individuals who might not be required to pay this fee include certain DREAMers under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and applicants who qualify for an immigration benefit that waives the biometric fee according to USCIS guidelines. It is crucial for an applicant to review the most recent USCIS instructions pertaining to Form I-765 to determine their eligibility for a fee exemption.

Form I-765 Renewal

When individuals seek to extend their employment authorization in the United States, they must submit a renewal for Form I-765. The process includes specific fees and timing considerations.

Renewal Fee Information

As of the latest updates, the standard filing fee for Form I-765 renewal is $410. This does not universally apply, as there may be exemptions or reductions based on eligibility categories. For instance, one should verify if an additional Biometric Services fee of $85 is required, which is typically necessary for certain eligibility categories.

Timing and Process for Renewal

The renewal request for Form I-765 should be initiated prior to the expiration of the current work permit, specifically no more than 180 days before the expiration date. It is crucial to adhere to this timeframe to avoid losing employment authorization.

Applicants must complete and submit the necessary paperwork to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), ensuring to include the required supporting documents and the appropriate fee. It’s recommended to track the submission to monitor the application status throughout the processing period.

Special Scenarios Affecting Filing Fee

The filing fee for Form I-765 can vary based on specific immigration statuses and circumstances. Applicants should be aware of the precise fee structure relating to their individual situation.

Temporary Protected Status Beneficiaries

For individuals granted Temporary Protected Status (TPS), the filing fee for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) is part of the initial TPS registration package. Applicants filing for both TPS and an EAD simultaneously should refer to the overall TPS fee, which may include the I-765 fee. However, if a TPS beneficiary is applying for an EAD renewal, they must submit the I-765 filing fee separately.

DACA Renewals

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients must pay the standard I-765 filing fee when renewing their work authorization. These applicants are not eligible for a fee waiver when filing Form I-765 for EAD renewal under DACA. It is crucial for DACA recipients to submit the correct fee to avoid delays or denials.

Adjustment of Status Applicants

Applicants who are undergoing the Adjustment of Status process typically file Form I-765 concurrently with Form I-485. The filing fee for Form I-765 may be included in the total cost of the Adjustment of Status package without an additional charge, provided they are filed together. Applicants should consult the latest fee schedule to confirm whether additional charges apply.

Processing Times and Delays

When applying for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) using Form I-765, applicants should be aware of the expected processing timelines and potential reasons for delays.

Expected Processing Timeline

  • Normal Processing: On average, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) completes processing Form I-765 within a few months from the date of application receipt.
  • Case Inquiries: If an application exceeds standard processing times, applicants have the option to
    • Inquire about a case outside normal processing time,
    • Check their case status,
    • Update mailing addresses.

Reasons for Delays

Several factors can cause processing delays of Form I-765:

  1. High Volume of Applications: An influx of applications can extend processing times across the board.
  2. Incomplete Applications: Missing information or documentation can lead to a hold on the application.
  3. Administrative Errors: Issues like typographical errors may necessitate correction and resubmission, adding to the timeline.

It is also imperative to note that USCIS policy changes, such as adjustments to premium processing services, are made with the intention that they do not increase regular processing times.

Common Questions and Concerns

This section clarifies procedures for responding to issues surrounding the I-765 filing fee, such as rectifying rejections or denials and ensuring personal information is current after submission.

Addressing Rejection or Denial of Fee Payment

When a fee payment is rejected or denied, it is usually due to incorrect fee amounts or payment method issues. Applicants should review the USCIS’s latest fee schedule to ensure correct payment. If the USCIS increases fees – as they proposed in early 2023 – applicants will be required to pay the new amount. In the event of rejection or denial, one must re-submit the fee with the proper amount using an accepted payment method.

Updating Personal Information After Filing

After filing Form I-765, applicants may need to update personal information if changes occur. To update personal information, applicants should contact the USCIS Contact Center or file the appropriate change of address forms if relocating. It’s essential to keep contact information current to avoid missing important notifications regarding the Employment Authorization Document (EAD) application.

Legal Resources and Assistance

When facing the complex procedure of filing Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, individuals often require guidance. This section provides a pathway to find legal assistance and understand the role of immigration attorneys in the process.

Finding Legal Aid

Legal aid organizations can provide assistance or advice for filing Form I-765 at little or no cost. Individuals may find these resources through:

  • Local nonprofit organizations: Many have departments specifically for immigration assistance.
  • Legal aid clinics: Often associated with law schools, they offer services to those who qualify.
  • State bar associations: Can offer referrals to programs offering free or reduced-cost services.

Consulting with Immigration Attorneys

Consulting with licensed immigration attorneys is crucial when looking for specific counsel on the I-765 filing fee or related immigration matters. To find a reputable attorney, individuals may:

  • Contact their local bar association for a referral.
  • Utilize the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) website to find licensed professionals.
  • Check attorney reviews and ratings on legal directories or online platforms.