[Federal Register Volume 72, Number 147 (Wednesday, August 1, 2007)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 41888-41890]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 07-3762]


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DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

8 CFR Part 103

[CIS No. 2415-07; Docket No. USCIS-2007-0039]
RIN 1615-AB60


Temporary Adjustment of the Immigration and Naturalization 
Benefit Application and Petition Fee Schedule for Certain Adjustment of 
Status and Related Applications

AGENCY: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, DHS.

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: This rule temporarily amends the applicable fees for 
employment-based Forms I-485, ``Application to Register Permanent 
Residence or Adjust Status,'' and applications for derivative benefits 
associated with such Forms I-485 filed pursuant to the Department of 
State's July Visa Bulletin No. 107, dated June 12, 2007. The fees for 
all other petitions and applications administered by U.S. Citizenship 
and Immigration Services will continue in force as effective on July 
30, 2007.

DATES: Effective Date: This rule is effective July 30, 2007, at 12:02 
a.m. EST.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Efren Hernandez III, Business and 
Trade Services, Service Center Operations (Business and Trade 
Services), U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Department of 
Homeland Security, 111 Massachusetts Avenue, Suite 3000, Washington, DC 
20001, telephone (202) 272-8400.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background

1. USCIS Fee Schedule

    On May 30, 2007, USCIS published the final rule, effective July 30, 
2007, ``Adjustment of the Immigration and Naturalization Benefit 
Application and Petition Fee Schedule,'' amending 8 CFR part 103 to 
prescribe new fees to fund the cost of processing applications and 
petitions for immigration and naturalization benefits and services, and 
USCIS' associated operating costs pursuant to section 286(m) of the 
Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), 8 U.S.C. 1356(m). 72 FR 29851. 
That rule provides that applications that are submitted to USCIS with 
the incorrect fee will be rejected. For the reasons described below, 
USCIS, through this rule, is amending the fees again on a temporary 
basis for certain applications. This rule will become effective 
immediately after the final fee rule published on May 30, 2007, and 
makes only temporary modifications to that rule to respond to the 
events described below. The rule provides limited relief for specific 
applicants from the final fee rule published on May 30, 2007. The 
effect of this rule is limited to those applications filed before 
August 18, 2007. For applications filed on or after August 18, 2007, 
the fees set forth in the final rule published on May 30, 2007, will be 
required. USCIS will remove this regulation by another rule to be 
published in Federal Register on or about August 17, 2007, to be 
effective August 18, 2007.

2. Visa Availability--Summary

    The INA establishes formulas and numerical limits for regulating 
persons immigrating to the United States for permanent residence, to 
include defining the employment-based immigrant visa classifications. 
INA sec. 201 et seq., 8 U.S.C. 1151 et seq. The INA provides an annual 
world-wide numerical limit on the number of aliens who may immigrate to 
the United States, as well as an annual per-country numerical limit on 
the number of aliens who may emigrate from a particular country. INA 
sections 201(d) and 202(a)(2), 8 U.S.C. 1151(d) and 1152(a)(2). In 
addition, the INA allocates the total number of world-wide visas among 
five employment-based categories or preferences. INA sec. 203(b), 8 
U.S.C. 1153(b). Taken together, the total number of visas, the country 
from which an alien emigrates, and the allocation of visas among the 
preference categories, determines whether a particular alien may 
immigrate to the United States at a certain date.
    The Department of State (DOS) determines the availability of 
immigrant visa numbers. See INA sections 203(e) and (g), 8 U.S.C. 
1153(e) and (g). DOS also controls individual allocation of employment-
based immigrant visas. 22 CFR 42.32. DOS publishes a ``Visa

[[Page 41889]]

Bulletin'' each month which summarizes the availability of immigrant 
visa numbers.
    The INA provides that the Secretary of Homeland Security may 
approve an application to adjust status if an immigrant visa is 
immediately available at the time the application is filed. See INA 
sec. 245(a)(3), 8 U.S.C. 1255(a)(3). Pursuant to Department of Homeland 
Security regulations, an immigrant visa is considered available, and an 
adjustment of status application can be filed and processed, if the 
applicant has a priority date earlier than the date shown in the 
current DOS Visa Bulletin. 8 CFR 245.1(g)(1).

3. The July Visa Bulletin

    On June 12, 2007, DOS published July Visa Bulletin No. 107. This 
Visa Bulletin indicated that all visas were current and immediately 
available for most employment-based categories. On July 2, 2007, DOS 
published Visa Bulletin No. 108, announcing that there would be no 
further visa number authorizations for employment-based applications. 
USCIS announced on that day that it would not accept any additional 
employment-based adjustment of status applications.

4. USCIS July 17, 2007 Announcement

    After consulting with USCIS, DOS advised USCIS that July Visa 
Bulletin No. 107 should be relied upon for purposes of determining 
whether employment-based immigrant visa numbers are currently 
available. DOS has withdrawn Visa Bulletin No. 108. Consequently, USCIS 
announced that, beginning July 17, 2007, and ending at the close of 
business on August 17, 2007, it will accept employment-based Forms I-
485 filed by aliens whose priority dates are current under Visa 
Bulletin No. 107. See ``USCIS Announces Revised Processing Procedures 
for Adjustment of Status Applications'' at http://www.uscis.gov/files/
pressrelease/VisaBulletinUpdate17Jul07.pdf. Visa Bulletin No. 107 is 
available at the DOS Web site at http://travel.state.gov/visa/frvi/
bulletin/bulletin_3258.html or may be obtained by calling the 
Information contact listed in this rule. Applicable derivative benefit 
applications are Form I-765, ``Application for Employment 
Authorization,'' and Form I-131, ``Application for Travel Document,'' 
eligibility for which are based on the Form I-485 filing.

5. Changes Made by This Rule

    Because of the mid-month change to the Visa Bulletin, USCIS has 
determined that aliens in employment-based categories filing 
applications pursuant to Visa Bulletin No. 107 should not be required 
to pay filing fees based on the fee schedule that becomes effective 
July 30, 2007. Therefore, as a result of this rule, aliens who file an 
employment-based Form I-485 and any related Forms I-765 and I-131, 
pursuant to Visa Bulletin No. 107, through August 17, 2007, must 
include the filing fees in effect prior to July 30, 2007. The new fee 
schedule becomes effective on July 30, 2007, for all other immigration 
and naturalization applications and petitions and on August 18, 2007, 
for Forms I-485 filed pursuant to Visa Bulletin No. 107 and to all 
subsequent or ``renewal'' applications for advance parole and 
employment authorization based on pending Forms I-485 filed pursuant to 
Visa Bulletin No. 107.
    This rule does not affect the increase in fees, pursuant to the 
final fee schedule, set to take effect on July 30, 2007, for Form I-
140, ``Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker.'' Therefore, aliens who 
file Form I-140 concurrently with Form I-485 based on Visa Bulletin No. 
107 between July 30, 2007, and August 17, 2007, must provide the post-
July 30, 2007, fee for the Form I-140 and the pre-July 30, 2007, fee 
for Form I-485. See 8 CFR 245.2(a)(2)(i)(C) (concurrent filing 
provisions). The current fee for Form I-485 is $325. Therefore, under 
this rule, the application fee for an employment-based Form I-485 filed 
between July 17 and August 17, 2007, pursuant to Visa Bulletin No. 107 
is $325. In another rulemaking to be published on or about August 17, 
2007, USCIS will separately terminate the effect of this rule, as of 
August 18, 2007 the fees will be as prescribed by the final rule of May 
30, 2007, or $930 for Form I-485.
    Similarly, this rule amends the effective date of the increase in 
the Biometric Services Fee that must accompany Forms I-485 or Forms I-
131 or I-765 that are based on a pending I-485, submitted pursuant to 
Visa Bulletin No. 107 between July 30, 2007 and August 17, 2007. As of 
July 30, 2007, the fee for biometric services is $80 for all other 
benefits for which biometrics must be provided.
    This rule also provides that applicants filing Forms I-131 and I-
765 in conjunction with a pending employment-based Form I-485 submitted 
pursuant to Visa Bulletin No, 107, must include the pre-July 30, 2007, 
fees for these applications with their filings: $170 for Form I-131 and 
$180 for Form I-765. Moreover, all Forms I-131 or I-765 filed as of 
August 18, 2007, while adjudication of their Forms I-485 is pending 
must be accompanied by the new application fee. USCIS will not charge a 
fee for all other Forms I-131 and I-765 when either is filed by an 
applicant who has paid the new Form I-485 application fee because the 
new fee schedule ``bundles'' the fees for current and subsequent Forms 
I-131 and I-765 filed while the applicant awaits adjudication of Form 
I-485.

II. Rulemaking Requirements

    This rule relates to internal agency management, procedure, and 
practice and is temporary in nature. 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(A). This rule does 
not alter substantive criteria by which USCIS will approve or deny 
applications or determine eligibility for any immigration benefit, but 
relieves certain requirements for a definite period of time for 
specific applications. As a result, DHS is not required to provide the 
public with notice of a proposed rule and the opportunity to submit 
comments on the subject matter of this rule. DHS finds that good cause 
exists for adopting this final rule, without prior notice and public 
comment because the urgency of adopting this rule make prior notice and 
comment impractical and contrary to the public interest. 5 U.S.C. 
553(b)(B).
    This rule relates to internal agency management, and, therefore, is 
exempt from the provisions of Executive Order Nos. 12630, 12988, 13045, 
13132, 13175, 13211, and 13272. Further, this action is not a rule as 
defined by the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601 et seq., and is 
therefore exempt from the provisions of that Act. In addition, this 
rule is not subject to the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 
(NEPA), 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq., Title II of the Unfunded Mandates 
Reform Act of 1995, 2 U.S.C. Ch. 17A, 25, or the E-Government Act of 
2002, 44 U.S.C. 3501, note.
    DHS finds that good cause exists for promulgating this rule without 
delaying the effective date of the rule because the rule relieves a 
requirement of existing regulations, must be adopted with an immediate 
effective date, and is temporary in nature. 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(1).
    This rule does not affect any information collections, reporting or 
recordkeeping requirements under the Paperwork Reduction Act.

List of Subjects in 8 CFR Part 103

    Administrative practice and procedures, Authority delegations 
(government agencies), Freedom of Information, Privacy, Reporting and 
recordkeeping requirements, and Surety bonds.

[[Page 41890]]


0
Accordingly, part 103 of chapter I of title 8 of the Code of Federal 
Regulations is amended as follows:

PART 103--POWERS AND DUTIES; AVAILABILITY OF RECORDS

0
1. The authority citation for part 103 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 5 U.S.C. 301, 552, 552(a); 8 U.S.C. 1101, 1103, 1304, 
1356; 31 U.S.C. 9701; Public Law 107-296, 116 Stat. 2135 (6 U.S.C. 1 
et seq.); E.O. 12356, 47 FR 14874, 15557; 3 CFR, 1982 Comp., p.166; 
8 CFR part 2.

0
2. Section 103.7 is amended by revising the entries ``For capturing 
biometric information'' and the entries for ``Form I-131'', ``Form I-
485'', and ``Form I-765'' in paragraph (b)(1) read as follows:


Sec.  103.7  Fees.

* * * * *
    (b) * * *
    (1) * * *
* * * * *
    For capturing biometric information (Biometric Fee). A service fee 
of $80 will be charged for any individual who is required to have 
biometric information captured in connection with an application or 
petition for certain immigration and naturalization benefits (other 
than asylum), and whose residence is in the United States; provided 
that:
    (1) Extension for intercountry adoptions: If applicable, no 
biometric service fee is charged when a written request for an 
extension of the approval period is received by USCIS prior to the 
expiration date of approval indicated on the Form I-171H if a Form I-
600 has not yet been submitted in connection with an approved Form I-
600A. This extension without fee is limited to one occasion. If the 
approval extension expires prior to submission of an associated Form I-
600, then a complete application and fee must be submitted for a 
subsequent application.
    (2) Pursuant to Visa Bulletin No. 107: The Biometric Services Fee 
that must accompany Forms I-485, or Forms I-131 or I-765 that are based 
on a pending I-485, that are submitted pursuant to U.S. Department of 
State Visa Bulletin No. 107, and filed with USCIS on or after July 30, 
2007, and on or before August 17, 2007, is $70.
* * * * *
    Form I-131. For filing an application for travel document--$305. 
However, the fee for Form I-131 that is submitted pursuant to U.S. 
Department of State Visa Bulletin No. 107 based on a pending I-485, and 
filed with USCIS on or after July 30, 2007, and on or before August 17, 
2007, is $170.
* * * * *
    Form I-485. For filing an application for permanent resident status 
or creation of a record of lawful permanent residence--$930 for an 
applicant fourteen years of age or older; $600 for an applicant under 
the age of fourteen years when submitted concurrently for adjudication 
with the Form I-485 of a parent and the applicant is seeking to adjust 
status as a derivative of the parent, based on a relationship to the 
same individual who provides the basis for the parent's adjustment of 
status, or under the same legal authority as the parent; no fee for an 
applicant filing as a refugee under section 209(a) of the Act; provided 
that no additional fee will be charged for a request for travel 
document (advance parole) or employment authorization filed by an 
applicant who has paid the Form I-485 application fee, regardless of 
whether the Form I-131 or Form I-765 is required to be filed by such 
applicant to receive these benefits. However, for aliens who file an 
employment-based Form I-485 pursuant to Visa Bulletin No. 107, and 
filed with USCIS on or after July 30, 2007, and on or before August 17, 
2007, the fee is $325, plus a fee of $170 will be charged for a request 
for travel document (advance parole) and $180 to request employment 
authorization for an applicant who has paid the Form I-485 application 
fee, regardless of whether the Form I-131 or Form I-765 is required to 
be filed by such applicants to receive these benefits.
* * * * *
    Form I-765. For filing an application for employment authorization 
pursuant to 8 CFR 274a.13--$340. However, the fee for a Form I-765 that 
is submitted pursuant to U.S. Department of State Visa Bulletin No. 107 
based on a pending I-485, and filed with USCIS on or after July 30, 
2007, and on or before August 17, 2007, is $180.
* * * * *

    Dated: July 27, 2007.
Michael Chertoff,
Secretary.
[FR Doc. 07-3762 Filed 7-30-07; 9:56 am]
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