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< Back to current issue of Immigration Daily < Back to current issue of Immigrant's Weekly


[Federal Register: February 1, 2007 (Volume 72, Number 21)]
[Proposed Rules]               
[Page 4887-4915]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr01fe07-24]                         


[[Page 4887]]

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

Part III





Department of Homeland Security





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



U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services



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



8 CFR Part 103



 Adjustment of the Immigration and Naturalization Benefit Application 
and Petition Fee Schedule; Proposed Rule


[[Page 4888]]


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

DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

8 CFR Part 103

[CIS No. 2393-06; Docket No. USCIS-2006-0044]
RIN 1615-AB53

 
Adjustment of the Immigration and Naturalization Benefit 
Application and Petition Fee Schedule

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

ACTION: Proposed rule.

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

SUMMARY: This rule proposes to adjust the immigration and 
naturalization benefit application and petition fees of the Immigration 
Examinations Fee Account. Fees collected from persons requesting these 
benefits are deposited into the Immigration Examinations Fee Account. 
These fees are used to fund the full cost of processing immigration and 
naturalization benefit applications and petitions, biometric services, 
and associated support services. In addition, these fees must recover 
the cost of providing similar services to asylum and refugee applicants 
and certain other immigrants at no charge.
    The fees that fund the Immigration Examinations Fee Account were 
last updated on October 26, 2005, solely to reflect an increase in 
costs due to inflation. The last comprehensive fee review was conducted 
in fiscal year 1998. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services 
conducted a new comprehensive review of the resources and activities 
funded by the Immigration Examinations Fee Account and determined that 
the current fees do not reflect current processes or recover the full 
costs of services that should be provided. Therefore, this rule 
proposes to increase the immigration and naturalization benefit 
application and petition fee schedule by a weighted average of $174, 
from an average fee of $264 to $438. These increases will ensure 
sufficient funding to meet immediate national security, customer 
service, and standard processing time goals, and to sustain and improve 
service delivery. Furthermore, the rule proposes to merge the fees for 
certain applications so applicants will pay a single fee rather than 
paying several fees for related services. The rule would permit U.S. 
Citizenship and Immigration Services to devote certain revenues to 
broader investments in a new technology and business process platform 
to improve substantially its capabilities and service levels.
    This rule also proposes generally to allocate costs for surcharges 
and routine processing activities evenly across all form types for 
which fees are charged, and to vary fees in proportion to the amount of 
adjudication decision-making and interview time typically required. 
This rule proposes to eliminate fees for interim benefits, duplicate 
filings, and premium processing by consolidating and reallocating costs 
among the various fees. The rule also proposes to exempt applicants for 
T nonimmigrant status, or for status under the Violence Against Women 
Act from paying certain fees, and modify substantially the availability 
of individual fee waivers by limiting them to certain specified form 
types.

DATES: Written comments must be submitted on or before April 2, 2007.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by DHS Docket No. USCIS-
2006-0044 by one of the following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. 

Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
     E-mail: OSComments@dhs.gov. Include the docket number in 
the subject line of the message.
     Facsimile: Federal eRulemaking portal at 866-466-5370.
     Mail: Director, Regulatory Management Division, U.S. 
Citizenship and Immigration Services, Department of Homeland Security, 
111 Massachusetts Avenue, NW., 3rd Floor, Washington, DC 20529. To 
ensure proper handling, please reference DHS Docket No. USCIS-2006-0044 
on your correspondence. This mailing address may also be used for 
paper, disk, or CD-ROM submissions.
     Hand Delivery/Courier: Regulatory Management Division, 
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Department of Homeland 
Security, 111 Massachusetts Avenue, NW., 3rd Floor, Washington, DC 
20529. Contact Telephone Number (202) 272-8377.

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

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Table of Contents

I. Public Participation
II. Legal Authority and Requirements
III. The Immigration Examinations Fee Account
    A. General Background
    B. Fee Schedule History
    C. Urgency and Rationale for New Fee Schedule
    1. Delay in Performing a Comprehensive Fee Review
    2. Presidential Mandate To Eliminate the Backlog
    3. Enhanced Staffing Models
    4. Isolation of Premium Processing Fees
    5. Eliminating Perceptions of Impediments to Efficiency
    6. Program Changes To Ensure Integrity of the Immigration System
    7. USCIS' Commitment to Future Fee Reviews
    D. Programs and Services Currently Funded
    1. Adjudication Services
    2. Information and Customer Services
    3. Administration
IV. The Fee Review of Immigration Benefit Applications/Petitions and 
Biometric Services
    A. Methodology
    B. Assumptions
    C. Defining Processing Activities
    D. Sources of Cost Information
    E. Adjustments
    1. Non-Recurring Costs
    2. Inflation
    3. Additional Resource Requirements
    a. Service Enhancements
    b. Security and Integrity Enhancements
    c. Humanitarian Program Enhancements
    d. Infrastructure Enhancements
    4. Summary
    F. Determining Application and Petition Surcharge Costs
    1. Asylum and Refugee Costs
    2. Fee Waiver/Exemption Costs
    G. FY 2008/2009 Processing Activity Costs
V. Volumes
    A. Biometric Services
    B. Immigration Benefit Applications and Petitions
VI. Assigning Costs to Processing Activities
    A. Overhead Costs
    B. Direct Costs
VII. Assigning Processing Activity Costs to Applications and 
Petitions and Biometric Services
    A. Biometric Services
    B. Immigration Benefit Applications and Petitions
VIII. Assigning Surcharge Costs to Applications and Petitions
    A. Method of Assigning Costs
    B. Fee Waiver/Exemption Costs
    C. Asylum/Refugee Costs
IX. Proposed Fee Adjustments
    A. Biometric Services
    B. Immigration Benefit Applications and Petitions
X. Impact on Applicants and Petitioners
XI. Fee Waivers
XII. Statutory and Regulatory Reviews
    A. Regulatory Flexibility Act
    B. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995
    C. Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996
    D. Executive Order 12866
    E. Executive Order 13132
    F. Executive Order 12988
    G. Paperwork Reduction Act

[[Page 4889]]

PART 103--POWERS AND DUTIES; AVAILABILITY OF RECORDS

List of Acronyms and Abbreviations

ABC--Activity-Based Costing
AAO--Administrative Appeals Office
CBP--Bureau of Customs and Border Protection
CFO Act--Chief Financial Officers Act of 1990
CFO--Chief Financial Officer
COOP--Continuity of Operations
CHEP--Cuban Haitian Entrant Program
DHS--Department of Homeland Security
FASAB--Federal Accounting Standards Advisory Board
FBI--Federal Bureau of Investigation
FY--Fiscal Year
FDNS--Fraud Detection and National Security
FOIA--Freedom of Information Act
GAO--Government Accountability Office
GPRA--Government Performance Results Act of 1993
IEFA--Immigration Examination Fee Account
ICE--Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement
IIO--Immigration Information Officers
INA--Immigration and Nationality Act
IT--Information Technology
IBIS--Interagency Border Inspection System
LAP--Lease Acquisition Program
NARA--National Archives and Records Administration
NRP--National Recruitment Program
NSRV--National Security and Records Verification
NACARA--Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief Act
ORS--Office of Records Services
OMB--Office of Management and Budget
PMB--Performance Management Branch
PA--Privacy Act
TPS--Temporary Protected Status
UMRA--Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995
USPS--United States Postal Service
USCIS--United States Citizenship and Immigration Services
VAWA--Violence Against Women Act

I. Public Participation

    USCIS invites interested persons to participate in this rulemaking 
by submitting written data, views, or arguments on all aspects of this 
proposed rule. Comments that will provide the most assistance to the 
Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and U.S. Citizenship and 
Immigration Services (USCIS) in developing these procedures will 
reference a specific portion of the proposed rule, explain the reason 
for any recommended change, and include data, information, or authority 
that support such recommended change.
    Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name 
and DHS Docket No. USCIS-2006-0044 for this rulemaking. All comments 
received will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov, 

including any personal information provided.
    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or 
comments received, go to http://www.regulations.gov. Submitted comments 

may also be inspected at the Regulatory Management Division, U.S. 
Citizenship and Immigration Services, Department of Homeland Security, 
111 Massachusetts Avenue, NW., 3rd Floor, Washington, DC 20529.
    The docket includes additional documents that support the analysis 
contained in this rule to determine the specific fees that are 
proposed. These documents include:
     FY 2008/2009 Fee Review Supporting Documentation; and
     Small Entity Analysis for Adjustment of the Immigration 
Benefit Application/Petition Fee Schedule.

These documents may be reviewed on the electronic docket. The budget 
methodology software used in computing the immigration benefit 
application/petition and biometric fees is a commercial product 
licensed to USCIS which may be accessed on-site by appointment by 
calling (202) 272-1930.

II. Legal Authority and Requirements

    The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952, as amended, (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 certain other immigrants. INA section 
286(m), 8 U.S.C. 1356(m). The costs of providing services without 
charge must be funded by filing fees from other application and 
petition types. USCIS refers to the additional charges used to pay for 
these services as ``surcharges.'' The INA also states that the fees may 
recover administrative costs as well. Id. The fee revenue collected 
under section 286(m) of the INA remains available to provide 
immigration and naturalization benefits and the collection of, 
safeguarding of, and accounting for fees. INA section 286(n), 8 U.S.C. 
1356(n).
    USCIS must also conform to the requirements of the Chief Financial 
Officers Act of 1990 (CFO Act), 31 U.S.C. 901-03. The CFO Act requires 
each agency's Chief Financial Officer (CFO) 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.'' Id. at 902(a)(8). 
This proposed rule reflects recommendations made by the DHS CFO and 
USCIS CFO.
    Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-25 establishes 
Federal policy regarding fees assessed for Government services and the 
basis upon which federal agencies set user charges sufficient to 
recover the full cost to the Federal Government. OMB Circular A-25, 
User Charges (Revised), section 6, 58 FR 38142 (July 15, 1993). Under 
OMB Circular A-25, the objective of the United States Government is to 
ensure that it recovers the full costs of providing specific services 
to users. 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. Id. See also OMB Circular A-11, section 31.12 (June 30, 
2006) (Fiscal Year (FY) 2008 budget formulation and execution policy 
regarding user fees), found at http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/circulars/a11/current_year/a11_toc.html
.

    When developing fees for services, USCIS also looks to the cost 
accounting concepts and standards recommended by the Federal Accounting 
Standards Advisory Board (FASAB). 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 33-42.
    This rule proposes enhanced service levels, more complete funding 
of existing services, and specific cost allocation methods.

III. The Immigration Examinations Fee Account

A. General Background

    In 1988, Congress established the Immigration Examination Fee 
Account (IEFA). Pub. L. 100-459, sec. 209, 102

[[Page 4890]]

Stat. 2186 (Oct. 1, 1988); enacting, after correction, INA sections 
286(m), (n), 8 U.S.C. 1356(m), (n). Since 1989, fees deposited into the 
IEFA fund the provision of 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. Pub. L. 101-515, 
sec. 210(d)(1), (2), 104 Stat. 2101, 2121 (Nov. 5, 1990). Consequently, 
the immigration benefit application fees were increased to recover 
these additional costs. E.g., 59 FR 30520 (June 14, 1994).
    USCIS, with limited exceptions, prepares all fingerprint cards (and 
electronic fingerprint capture) used to conduct Federal Bureau of 
Investigation (FBI) criminal background checks on individuals applying 
for certain benefits under the INA. Pub. L. 105-119, tit. I, 111 Stat. 
2440, 2448 (Nov. 26, 1997). This legislation also authorizes USCIS to 
charge a fee for this fingerprinting service (which is now referred to 
as a biometric service fee). Id. The fees are deposited into the IEFA 
and are available for expenditure by USCIS to provide services. INA 
section 286(n), 8 U.S.C. 1356(n).
    Table 1 lists, by form number, the types of immigration benefit 
applications and petitions for which fees are collected.\1\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ The Form I-905, Application for Authorization to Issue 
Certification for Health Care Workers, is represented in Table 1 and 
in subsequent tables for the purpose of identifying total IEFA 
volume, but is not subject to the proposed fee adjustments in this 
rule since the form type and associated fee has only recently been 
established.

    Table 1.--Types of Immigration Benefit Applications and Petitions
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                   Form No.                           Description
------------------------------------------------------------------------
I-90.........................................  Application to Replace
                                                Permanent Resident Card.
I-102........................................  Application for
                                                Replacement/Initial
                                                Nonimmigrant Arrival--
                                                Departure Document.
I-129........................................  Petition for a
                                                Nonimmigrant Worker.
I-129F.......................................  Petition for Alien
                                                Fiance(e).
I-130........................................  Petition for Alien
                                                Relative.
I-131........................................  Application for Travel
                                                Document.
I-140........................................  Immigrant Petition for
                                                Alien Worker.
I-191........................................  Application for Advance
                                                Permission to Return to
                                                Unrelinquished Domicile.
I-192........................................  Application for Advance
                                                Permission to Enter as
                                                Nonimmigrant.
I-193........................................  Application for Waiver of
                                                Passport and/or Visa.
I-212........................................  Application for
                                                Permission to Reapply
                                                for Admission into the
                                                U.S. After Deportation
                                                or Removal.
I-290B/Motions...............................  Appeal for any decision
                                                other than BIA; Motion
                                                to reopen or reconsider
                                                decision other than BIA.
I-360........................................  Petition for Amerasian,
                                                Widow(er), or Special
                                                Immigrant.
I-485........................................  Application to Register
                                                Permanent Residence or
                                                Adjust Status.
I-526........................................  Immigrant Petition by
                                                Alien Entrepreneur.
I-539........................................  Application to Extend/
                                                Change Nonimmigrant
                                                Status.
I-600/600A...................................  Petition to Classify
                                                Orphan as an Immediate
                                                Relative/Application for
                                                Advance Processing of
                                                Orphan Petition.
I-601........................................  Application for Waiver on
                                                Grounds of
                                                Excludability.
I-612........................................  Application for Waiver of
                                                the Foreign Residence
                                                Requirement.
I-687........................................  For Filing Application
                                                for Status as a
                                                Temporary Resident.
I-690........................................  Application for Waiver of
                                                Excludability.
I-694........................................  Notice of Appeal of
                                                Decision.
I-695........................................  Application for
                                                Replacement Employment
                                                Authorization or
                                                Temporary Residence
                                                Card.
I-698........................................  Application to Adjust
                                                Status from Temporary to
                                                Permanent Resident.
I-751........................................  Petition to Remove the
                                                Conditions on Residence.
I-765........................................  Application for
                                                Employment
                                                Authorization.
I-817........................................  Application for Family
                                                Unity Benefits.
I-821........................................  Application for Temporary
                                                Protected Status.
I-824........................................  Application for Action on
                                                an Approved Application
                                                or Petition.
I-829........................................  Petition by Entrepreneur
                                                to Remove Conditions.
I-881........................................  Application for
                                                Suspension of
                                                Deportation or Special
                                                Rule Cancellation of
                                                Removal (pursuant to
                                                section 203 of Pub. L.
                                                105-100) (NACARA).
I-905........................................  Application for
                                                Authorization to Issue
                                                Certification for Health
                                                Care Workers.
I-914........................................  Application for T
                                                Nonimmigrant Status.
N-300........................................  Application to File
                                                Declaration of
                                                Intention.
N-336........................................  Request for Hearing on a
                                                Decision in
                                                Naturalization
                                                Procedures.
N-400........................................  Application for
                                                Naturalization.
N-470........................................  Application to Preserve
                                                Residence for
                                                Naturalization Purposes.
N-565........................................  Application for
                                                Replacement
                                                Naturalization/
                                                Citizenship Document.
N-600/600K...................................  Application for
                                                Certification of
                                                Citizenship/Application
                                                for Citizenship and
                                                Issuance of Certificate
                                                under Section 322.
Biometrics...................................  Capturing and Processing
                                                Biometric Information.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Several IEFA fees are set by statute. Section 244(c)(1)(B) of the 
INA, 8 U.S.C. 1254a(c)(1)(B), limits the filing fee for Temporary 
Protected Status (Form I-821) to $50. Section 286(u) of the INA, 8 
U.S.C. 1356(u), created a Premium Processing Service for certain kinds 
of employment-based applications, and set the premium fee at $1,000. 
Premium Processing Service guarantees that USCIS will process a 
petition or application within fifteen calendar days of receiving a 
Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service. 8 CFR 103.2(f). The 
use of premium processing fees is limited to providing premium 
processing services themselves and to making infrastructure 
improvements in adjudications and customer service processes. INA 
section 286(u), 8 U.S.C. 1356(u). These statutory fees relating to

[[Page 4891]]

immigration services are not affected by this proposed rule.
    As is the case with the current fee structure, waiver applications 
(Form I-191, Application for Advance Permission to Return to 
Unrelinquished Domicile; Form I-192, Application for Advance Permission 
to Enter as a Non-Immigrant; Form I-193, Application for Waiver of 
Passport and/or Visa; Form I-212, Application to Reapply for Admission 
into the U.S. After Deportation; Form I-601, Application for Waiver on 
Grounds of Excludability; and Form I-612, Application for Waiver of the 
Foreign Residence Requirement) will be combined and subsequently 
referenced as ``Waiver Applications.'' One universal fee applies to 
these application and form types.
    In addition to the IEFA, USCIS receives fee funding from several 
smaller, specific accounts, such as the H-1B Nonimmigrant Petitioner 
Account under section 286(s) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1356(s), and the 
Fraud Prevention and Detection Account under section 286(v) of the INA, 
8 U.S.C. 1356(v), which this proposed rule does not affect.

B. Fee Schedule History

    The current immigration benefit application and petition fees are 
based on a review implemented in FY 1998, adjusted for cost of living 
increases and other factors. USCIS periodically adjusts the fees for 
inflation with the last adjustment for inflation effective October 25, 
2005. 70 FR 56182 (Sept. 26, 2005).
    USCIS began charging a fee for fingerprinting services in 1998. 63 
FR 12979 (Mar. 17, 1998). USCIS later adjusted the fee to recover the 
full costs of providing fingerprinting services. 66 FR 65811 (Dec. 21, 
2001). USCIS last adjusted the biometric fee on April 30, 2004 to $70. 
69 FR 20528 (April 15, 2004).
    Table 2 illustrates the history of the adjustments to the IEFA fee 
schedule and the biometric fee schedule.

                                         Table 2.--History of Immigration Benefit Application and Petition Fees
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                   Prior to IEFA
                                             ------------------------   FY 1989     FY 1991     FY 1994     FY 1998     FY 2002     FY 2004     Current
                  Form type                     FY 1985     FY 1986    (dollars)   (dollars)   (dollars)   (dollars)   (dollars)   (dollars)     fees
                                               (dollars)   (dollars)                                                                           (dollars)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I-90........................................          15  ..........          35          70          75         110         130         185         190
I-102.......................................          15  ..........          35          50          65          85         100         155         160
I-129.......................................          35  ..........          50          70          75         110         130         185         190
I-129F......................................          35  ..........          40          75          75          95         110         165         170
I-130.......................................          35  ..........          40          75          80         110         130         185         190
I-131.......................................          15  ..........          45          65          70          95         110         165         170
I-140.......................................          50          35          50          70          75         115         135         190         195
Waiver Applications.........................          35  ..........          45          90          95         170         195         250         265
I-290B/Motions..............................          50  ..........         110  ..........  ..........  ..........  ..........  ..........         385
I-360.......................................  ..........  ..........  ..........  ..........  ..........         110         130         185         190
I-485.......................................          50  ..........          60         120         130         220         255         315         325
I-526.......................................  ..........  ..........  ..........         140         155         350         400         465         480
I-539.......................................          15  ..........          35          70          75         120         140         195         200
I-600/600A..................................          50  ..........          75         140         155         405         460         525         545
I-687.......................................  ..........  ..........  ..........         185         185         185         185         240         255
I-690.......................................  ..........  ..........  ..........  ..........  ..........  ..........          35          90          95
I-694.......................................          50  ..........  ..........  ..........  ..........  ..........          50         105         110
I-695.......................................  ..........  ..........  ..........          15          15          15          15          65          65
I-698.......................................         120  ..........  ..........  ..........  ..........  ..........         120         175         180
I-751.......................................  ..........  ..........          35          65          80         125         145         200         205
I-765.......................................  ..........  ..........          35          60          70         100         120         175         180
I-817.......................................  ..........  ..........  ..........          75          80         120         140         195         200
I-821.......................................          50  ..........  ..........  ..........  ..........  ..........          50  ..........          50
I-824.......................................  ..........  ..........  ..........          30          30         120         140         195         200
I-829.......................................  ..........  ..........  ..........  ..........          90         345         395         455         475
I-881.......................................  ..........  ..........  ..........  ..........  ..........  ..........         215         275         285
I-905.......................................  ..........  ..........  ..........  ..........  ..........  ..........  ..........  ..........         230
I-914.......................................  ..........  ..........  ..........  ..........  ..........  ..........         200         255         270
N-300.......................................          15  ..........          50  ..........  ..........          50          60         115         120
N-336.......................................  ..........  ..........  ..........  ..........  ..........         170         195         250         265
N-400.......................................          35  ..........          60          90          95         225         260         320         330
N-470.......................................          15  ..........          55  ..........  ..........          80          95         150         155
N-565.......................................          15  ..........          50          50          65         135         155         210         220
N-600/600K..................................          35  ..........          60          90         100         160         185         240         255
Biometrics..................................  ..........  ..........  ..........  ..........  ..........          25          50          70          70
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

C. Urgency and Rationale for New Fee Schedule

    In developing this proposed rule, USCIS reviewed its recent cost 
experiences, current service levels, goals for additional services, and 
various factors for allocating costs to particular form types. This 
rule proposes a fee structure that will allow USCIS to close current 
funding gaps, accomplish performance goals, eliminate problematic 
incentives, expedite processing, and fairly allocate costs.
    For FY 2008 and FY 2009, USCIS projects a continuing funding gap 
between revenue and expenses in the IEFA. Over the last several years, 
USCIS has come to rely on a combination of fee funding from temporary 
programs (e.g., Temporary Protected Status, penalty fees under INA 
section 245(i), 8 U.S.C. 1255(i)) and appropriated subsidies for 
temporary programs (e.g., backlog elimination) to close this funding 
gap. With the termination of these temporary funding sources, fee 
adjustments are needed to prevent significant service

[[Page 4892]]

reductions, backlog increases, and reduced investment in 
infrastructure. While the workload associated with these temporary 
programs will terminate along with the termination of its funding 
sources, significant fixed costs that were previously recovered through 
the fees still remain. This includes costs that do not directly vary 
with this temporary workload, including USCIS Headquarters office costs 
and asylum and refugee operations.
    USCIS has received appropriated dollars for the past several years 
to improve processing times as part of a five year effort to reduce a 
backlog of immigration applications. In FY 2006, Congress appropriated 
$115 million for USCIS, subject to later rescissions. Department of 
Homeland Security Appropriations Act, 2006, 109-90, 119 Stat. 2064, 
2080 (Oct. 18, 2005). In FY 2007, Congress appropriated $181,990,000 
for USCIS. Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, 2007, 
110 Stat. 1355, 1374 (Oct. 4, 2006). During the time since the last 
comprehensive fee adjustment, USCIS has increased emphasis on national 
security and public screening of applicants, and on quality controls. 
At the same time, certain immigration benefit determinations have 
become more complex as legislation has created new programs and 
eligibilities. This resulted in a significant funding gap between 
revenues and costs that led to decreases in performance and services. 
Because USCIS did not conduct a comprehensive fee review earlier, it 
has been limited to the revenue that the current fee structure 
provides. This funding gap has resulted in inadequate facilities to 
provide services to customers, inadequate investments in infrastructure 
to improve service, and, most notably, inadequate case processing 
capacity to keep up with the volume of applications and petitions 
filed, creating a very significant backlog that would still exist today 
if not for the temporary appropriated dollars received from FY 2002 to 
FY 2006. However, significant backlogs will recur unless USCIS 
restructures its fees to provide adequate case processing capacity.
    Spending reductions to meet the funding gap would result in a 
reversal of the considerable progress USCIS has made over the last 
several years to reduce the backlog of immigration benefit applications 
and petitions. Such a reversal would likely include increases in 
customer complaints, requests to expedite certain applications and 
petitions, litigation seeking mandamus against USCIS, and other 
negative consequences that consume more resources in an ad hoc and 
reactive manner. This fee rule is essential to bringing fees into 
alignment with desired levels of service.
    USCIS' security-related activities and objectives are its highest 
priority in allocating resources, and the effects of rising immigration 
benefit application backlogs could undermine these national security 
and public safety objectives. USCIS therefore places an emphasis on 
timely background checks to ensure that the United States is not placed 
at risk by failing to identify individuals who may be national security 
or public safety risks at the earliest possible time in the 
adjudications process. Backlogs allow some applicants and petitioners 
who are already in the United States to remain in the United States 
without authorization, and delay identification of potential risks and 
actions to initiate removal proceedings as appropriate.
    Based on the current weighted average application/petition fee of 
$264 and a projected application/petition fee-paying volume of 4.742 
million, immigration benefit application/petition fees will generate 
$1.250 billion in annual revenue for the FY 2008 and FY 2009 biennial 
period. For the same period, USCIS estimates the annual cost of 
processing those immigration and naturalization benefit applications 
and petitions, including additional resource requirements, will be 
$2.329 billion. The resulting annual funding gap between revenue and 
expenses is $1.079 billion, of which $524.3 million is additional 
resource requirements (see section IV.E for a detailed discussion of 
these requirements).
1. Delay in Performing a Comprehensive Fee Review
    The fee changes proposed in this rule reflect a more robust 
capability to calculate, predict, and analyze costs and revenues. USCIS 
has not performed a comprehensive cost analysis of the IEFA since the 
FY 1998 Fee Review. The fact that a comprehensive fee review has been 
delayed for such a long period of time is a major reason why the 
current fee schedule is inadequate to recover the full costs of USCIS 
operations. This is a primary cause for the creation and growth of the 
immigration benefit application and petition backlog.
    A Government Accountability Office (GAO) Report in January 2004 
concluded that the ``fees were not sufficient to fully fund [US]CIS' 
operations.'' GAO, Immigration Application Fees: Current Fees are Not 
Sufficient to Fund U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services' 
Operations (GAO-04-309R, Jan. 5, 2004) at 2. GAO stated that ``[i]n 
part, this has resulted because (1) The current fee schedule is based 
on an outdated fee study that did not include all costs of [US]CIS' 
operations and (2) costs have increased since that study was completed 
due to an additional processing requirement and other actions.'' Id. 
GAO recommended that USCIS ``perform a comprehensive fee study to 
determine the costs to process new immigration applications.'' Id. at 
3. The fee review that is the basis for the proposed fees in this rule 
addresses that recommendation.
    As noted by the GAO, USCIS currently incurs several significant 
costs that are not recovered in the current fee structure. These 
include a 2002 estimate of $101 million in costs incurred that any 
previous fee increases had not adequately addressed: Integrated Card 
Production System; National Customer Service Center; National Records 
Center; additional Adjudication Officers; and expansion of Service 
Center operations. Id. at 31. The GAO also identified the need to 
recover the costs of ``new departmental requirements,'' especially 
expanding the number of Interagency Border Inspection System (IBIS) 
checks conducted as a result of the September 11, 2001 terrorist 
attacks. Id. at 33. A portion of these costs were recovered in the 
April 2004 fee increase. GAO also suggested that USCIS identify and 
recover ``administrative and overhead'' costs associated with the 
creation of USCIS as a separate component within DHS in March 2003. Id. 
at 42-44.
    Since fee revenues have not been sufficient to recover full 
operating costs, USCIS has relied on funding from temporary programs, 
curtailed spending in critical areas, used premium processing funds for 
base infrastructure rather than for major business infrastructure 
improvements to the adjudication and customer-service processes, and 
used fees from pending applications to fund applications being 
processed. This insufficiency delayed investment in a new technology 
and business process platform to radically improve USCIS' capabilities 
and service levels as originally envisioned by Congress when it first 
established the premium processing program.
2. Presidential Mandate To Eliminate the Backlog
    In FY 2002, the President called for an average processing time 
standard of six months for the adjudication of most immigration benefit 
applications and petitions to eliminate the backlog of pending 
applications and petitions at USCIS within five years (end of FY 2006). 
USCIS received a total of $460

[[Page 4893]]

million in appropriated funds for this effort. At the end of FY 2006, 
the backlog was significantly reduced from a high of 3.84 million cases 
in January 2004 to 9,482 cases. Additionally, a six-month processing 
time standard was achieved for fifteen out of sixteen Backlog 
Elimination Plan applications. In some instances, such as 
naturalization applications, USCIS decreased processing times to below 
the six-month goal. Table 3 sets out the processing times (in terms of 
months) for each application and petition as of September 30, 2006. 
This fee rule would provide the necessary resources to maintain these 
processing time standards and fund further improvements to USCIS 
business operations to continue to reduce processing times while 
ensuring the appropriate level of security.

           Table 3.--Application and Petition Processing Times
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                              Processing
                          Form No.                             time (in
                                                               months)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
I-90.......................................................         4.38
I-102......................................................         2.91
I-129......................................................         2.03
I-129F.....................................................         2.90
I-130......................................................         6.02
I-131......................................................         1.97
I-140......................................................         3.31
Waiver Applications........................................         9.39
Form I-290B/Motions........................................         7.73
I-360......................................................         6.34
I-485......................................................         7.07
I-526......................................................         4.14
I-539......................................................         2.07
I-600/600A.................................................         3.39
I-687......................................................        10.59
I-690......................................................        10.19
I-694......................................................         4.50
I-695......................................................        22.76
I-698......................................................        26.85
I-751......................................................         3.74
I-765......................................................         1.97
I-817......................................................         3.94
I-821......................................................         2.54
I-824......................................................         3.63
I-829......................................................        38.94
I-881......................................................         0.35
I-914......................................................         3.64
N-300......................................................        23.88
N-336......................................................         6.22
N-400......................................................         5.57
N-470......................................................        16.18
N-565......................................................         4.35
N-600/600K.................................................         5.27
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The President's FY 2006 Budget prioritized USCIS resources to 
achieve the time standard and eliminate the backlog. After FY 2006, 
USCIS' budget requests for adjudication programs will be limited to fee 
resources, as USCIS strives to maintain the six-month or less 
processing time standard and identify opportunities for performance 
improvements within a fee-based environment.
    As mentioned previously, the significant reduction in the backlog 
is due to temporary appropriated dollars. These funds were not only 
necessary to reduce the backlog that had grown prior to FY 2002, but 
also to make up for the insufficiency of the fee schedule. This was 
clearly made apparent in the FY 2005 budget when Congress appropriated 
an additional $60 million towards backlog elimination efforts due to 
the significant impact of the September 11th attacks on the United 
States on the standards, procedures, and policies of USCIS. Without 
this temporary subsidy, not only would the pre-FY 2002 backlogs 
continued to have grown, but the backlog would have grown even greater 
due to the insufficiency of the fee schedule to process incoming 
workload for the period FY 2002 through FY 2006.
3. Enhanced Staffing Models
    The new fee schedule will improve service levels and ensure the 
security and integrity of the immigration system without causing 
backlogs to return. This fee review is based for the first time on an 
enhanced staffing model that is designed to align resources with the 
need to prevent future backlogs, providing for an efficient and 
effective workforce balance. Prior to this analysis, USCIS' 
distribution of adjudicators across field offices did not match the 
distribution of workload across field offices.
    A 2001 GAO report recommended that USCIS ``[d]evelop a staffing 
model for processing naturalization applications and expand the model 
to include other application types as their processes are reengineered 
or automated.'' GAO, Immigration Benefits: Several Factors Impede 
Timeliness of Application Processing (GAO-01-488, May 4, 2001) at 55. 
In addition, in November 2005, GAO stated that:

    This kind of planning is consistent with the principle of 
integration and alignment that we have advocated as one of the 
critical success factors in human capital planning. As we have 
previously reported, workforce planning that is linked to strategic 
goals and objectives can help agencies be aware of their current and 
future needs such as the size of the workforce and its deployment 
across the organization. In addition, we have said that the 
appropriate geographic and organizational deployment of employees 
can further support organizational goals and strategies.

GAO, Immigration Benefits: Improvements Needed To Address Backlogs and 
Ensure Quality of Adjudications (GAO-06-20, Nov. 21, 2005) at 34.
    Historically, USCIS has been required to balance resource 
requirements against budgetary realities with the end result often 
being a staffing model based on what USCIS could afford, not what is 
required to meet acceptable performance standards. Following the last 
comprehensive fee review in FY 1998, USCIS' predecessor was only able 
to maintain the status quo and the backlog actually increased despite 
significant fee increases in FY 1998. The clear distinction between 
this proposed fee schedule and prior fee schedules is that the proposed 
fee schedule does not simply reflect costs and performance 
retrospectively, locking USCIS into a revenue stream that at best 
allows it to maintain the status quo. Instead the proposed fee schedule 
is designed to provide for an adequate and sustainable level of 
investment in staff, infrastructure, and processes designed to improve 
the USCIS' ability to administer the nation's immigration laws.
    The staffing model identifies sufficient funding not only to meet 
current standard processing time goals, but also to sustain and improve 
service delivery by providing additional funding to handle sudden 
surges in workload, another reason for the growth in immigration 
benefit application and petition backlogs. Sufficient capacity to 
process workload is a problem not limited to USCIS. Capacity also 
relates to agencies that USCIS depends upon to meet its performance 
goals. For example, this rule proposes additional funding in support of 
FBI name checks.
4. Isolation of Premium Processing Fees
    The current fee system has not enabled USCIS to undertake the 
investments in a new technology and business process platform that are 
needed to radically improve USCIS' capabilities and service levels. The 
proposed fee structure is designed to recover annual costs for 
facilities, information technology systems, business processes, and 
other capacities in a way that allows USCIS to continue improving 
service levels, both to applicants/petitioners and to the American 
public, through more effective administration of the immigration laws 
of the United States. Under the proposed fee schedule, premium 
processing revenues will be fully isolated from other revenues and 
devoted to the extra services provided to premium processing customers 
and to broader investments in a new technology and business process

[[Page 4894]]

platform to radically improve USCIS' capabilities and service levels.
    Specifically, premium processing fees will be used to transform 
USCIS from a paper-based process to an electronic environment, making 
it possible to incorporate more effective processing of low risk 
applicants and better identification of higher risk individuals. The 
new operational concept will be based on the types of online customer 
accounts used in the private sector in order to facilitate 
transactions, track activities, and reduce identity fraud. The solution 
will also help to meet customer expectations, generated from their 
private sector experiences, for on-demand information and immediate 
real-time electronic service over the Internet.
    The solution will enable applicants to apply on-line for 
immigration benefits by either selecting a specific benefit application 
process or by participating in an on-line electronic interview that 
will help applicants navigate the system to apply for the correct 
benefit in the correct manner. Individuals, employers, and 
representatives will establish unique accounts that will enable them to 
change attributes such as changes of address or name, and allow 
individuals to record a change in marital status, representation, or 
other contact information. The solution will provide enhanced and real-
time case status information with e-mail capabilities to request 
information or inform the applicant about a pending application and to 
enable the entire process to be completed in an efficient paperless 
manner.
    In short, this proposed rule would fully fund normal operations and 
infrastructure maintenance with standard fees so that USCIS can apply 
premium fees to significant infrastructure improvements, as envisioned 
by Congress. Currently, because of the insufficiency of the fee 
schedule, USCIS cannot use premium processing funds to invest in major 
infrastructure improvements to the adjudication and customer-service 
processes.
5. Eliminating Perceptions of Impediments to Efficiency
    This proposed rule would restructure certain fee arrangements that 
are currently perceived to provide disincentives for USCIS to improve 
efficiency in processing. For example, USCIS has long authorized 
certain customers, particularly applicants for adjustment of status, to 
apply for certain benefits while the initial application is pending, 
referred to generally as ``interim benefits.'' These include, most 
importantly, employment authorization and permission to travel abroad 
and return to the United States to pursue the pending application. In 
the current fee structure, USCIS charges additional fees for interim 
benefits in addition to initial application fees. Thus, the longer 
cases take to adjudicate, the more total revenue is collected. This 
creates the perception that USCIS gains by processing cases slowly.
    Through the provisions proposed in this rule, USCIS would eliminate 
its reliance on interim benefits as a significant funding source for 
base operations and address the problem that aliens are required to pay 
for services they would not need if the underlying petition were timely 
processed, while ineligible and fraudulent applicants receive work 
authorization and travel documents because of processing delays. 
Moreover, this change addresses the historic perception that because of 
the Congressional requirement that USCIS be self-funded from fees, 
USCIS may make decisions that compromise operational efficiency to 
ensure revenue flow. Under the proposed fee structure, an applicant for 
adjustment of status will pay a single fee. If USCIS is unable to 
process the base application within the established processing goals, 
the applicant will not pay separate fees for interim benefits, no 
matter how long the case remains pending. For certain application 
types, most notably applications for adjustment of status to permanent 
residence (Form I-485), the most critical interim benefit is the fact 
an applicant is allowed to remain in the United States while his or her 
application is pending. This spurs USCIS to process cases quickly and 
ensure that it promptly identifies those applicants who are risks to 
national security or public safety, resolves their cases, and initiates 
removal proceedings as appropriate. The restructuring proposed under 
this rule would create more appropriate pricing structures and 
eliminate perceived disincentives to process cases in a timely manner.
    At the same time, USCIS recognizes that, in some cases, delays in 
processing applications alone will require issuance of interim 
benefits. Accordingly, USCIS has built into the cost model for all 
adjustment of status applications the cost of processing interim 
benefits for a percentage of applicants.
    USCIS estimates that the current application fees paid by an 
applicant for adjustment of status with interim benefits over a multi-
year time period are approximately $800. The proposed rule would 
increase the adjustment of status application (Form I-485) fee for an 
adult applicant to $905, but exempts applicants who have paid that fee 
from any additional fee that otherwise might be payable to apply for 
advance parole or employment authorization. USCIS anticipates revising 
the Form I-485 accordingly, but this proposed rule would give USCIS 
flexibility to continue to use the Forms I-131 and I-765 for adjustment 
applicants. Either way, no additional fee would be charged for a Form 
I-485 applicant who has paid the base fee that now includes the cost of 
processing interim benefits.
    Similarly, this rule proposes to eliminate from revenue projections 
separate fees from the two petitions currently required to be filed for 
an alien spouse abroad who will enter the United States in the K-3 
nonimmigrant classification for certain spouses of United States 
citizens. See INA section 101(a)(15)(K)(ii), 8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(K)(ii); 8 
CFR 214.1(a)(2). These two petitions are Form I-130, Petition for Alien 
Relative, and Form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fianc[eacute](e). USCIS 
is working to consolidate the K-3 petitions so that separate fees will 
not be necessary.
    The elimination of separate fees for interim benefits or the second 
K-3 petition affect more than adjustment of status applicants and 
family petitioners. The consolidation of these fees reduces the number 
of application types for which any fee is charged and thereby 
reallocates the amount of certain processing activity costs, 
administrative overhead and surcharge costs that must be spread across 
all other fee-paying application and petition types. All other fees 
will be increased.
6. Program Changes To Ensure Integrity of the Immigration System
    Since the tragic events of September 11, 2001, a persistent issue 
has been that weaknesses in the integrity of the immigration system 
make the United States vulnerable to terrorism, crime, and the economic 
cost of an underground population. USCIS takes these concerns seriously 
and has aggressively addressed them with the creation of a new 
directorate for National Security and Records Verification (NSRV). This 
directorate is focused on preserving the integrity of the immigration 
system. One component of the new directorate is the Fraud Detection and 
National Security (FDNS) Division. FDNS fulfills its mission in a 
variety of ways that include conducting benefit fraud assessments, 
providing investigative support to Adjudication Officers, and 
implementing remedial processes to discourage fraud.
    The current fee structure does not allow FDNS to address fraud more

[[Page 4895]]

broadly or to attend to USCIS' needs in national security cases. The 
proposed fee structure to support FDNS will fill this void. The 
proposed fee structure also enhances quality assurance, provides 
additional Adjudication Officer training, requires Adjudication 
Officers to attend removal proceedings when appropriate, tracks the 
delivery of secure documents, and enhances internal security and 
investigative operations. Section IV.E details these additional 
resource requirements.
7. USCIS' Commitment to Future Fee Reviews
    USCIS is committed to update its fees through a similar analysis at 
least once every two years. In comparison to fee reviews over the last 
decade, which essentially made retrospective adjustments on a narrowly 
calculated fee review, future fee reviews will combine assumptions from 
recent experiences (which may allow for cost reductions from new 
efficiencies) and from prospective activity changes (such as those that 
may arise from additional security measures or performance changes).

D. Programs and Services Currently Funded

    For FY 2007, the IEFA is anticipated to provide approximately 89% 
of USCIS' total funding. The major programs, activities and services 
funded by the IEFA are discussed below.
1. Adjudication Services
    The Adjudication Services program is the primary program 
responsible for the processing of immigration benefit applications and 
petitions while ensuring the security of the immigration system. 
Through a network of 250 local offices, Application Support Centers, 
Service Centers, and Asylum Offices, the program funds the timely and 
quality processing of: (1) Family-based petitions--facilitating the 
process for close relatives to immigrate, gain permanent residence, 
work, etc.; (2) Employment-based petitions--facilitating the process 
for current and prospective employees to immigrate to or stay in the 
United States temporarily; (3) Asylum and Refugee processing--
adjudicating asylum applications, conducting credible and reasonable 
fear screenings, and the processing of refugees; and (4) 
Naturalization--processing applications of those who wish to become 
United States citizens. The Adjudication Services program currently 
receives 94% of its total funding from the IEFA.
    On average, USCIS annually: (1) Processes over six million 
applications and petitions, (2) processes close to 90,000 asylum 
applicants, (3) interviews approximately 70,000 refugee applicants, and 
(4) naturalizes approximately half a million new citizens. Adjudication 
Officers review applications and often conduct interviews of the 
applicants and petitioners. They have the dual responsibility of 
providing courteous service to the public while being alert to the 
possibility of security concerns, fraud, and misrepresentation. 
District Adjudications Officers are located in offices nationwide. 
Service Center Adjudications Officers are located only in the following 
Service Centers: St. Albans, VT; Lincoln, NE; Irving, TX; and Laguna 
Niguel, CA.
    An Asylum Officer determines if an applicant for asylum qualifies 
for that status based on the requirements of the INA. These officers 
are specially trained in country conditions, interviewing techniques 
(including credibility determinations), and asylum law. Positions are 
located in eight Asylum Offices throughout the United States. The 
Asylum Officer Corps and new Refugee Officer Corps (which provides 
similar adjudicative services for refugee applications overseas) also 
leverage specialized resources, including professional interpreters, to 
deliver timely and accurate provision of legal protection to 
individuals who have been persecuted and displaced.
    In coordination with other components of DHS and other Federal 
agencies, USCIS combats immigration benefit fraud through the FDNS 
office in the NSRV Directorate, as previously discussed. USCIS trains 
FDNS staff to analyze and identify fraud patterns and trends and 
document evidence of fraud for administrative action. USCIS will 
continue to implement fraud detection measures in Service Centers, 
field offices, and Refugee and Asylum programs, including training 
adjudications staff to proactively identify fraud/security profiles 
while considering an application. Apart from FDNS, the other major 
division within NSRV is the Office of Records Services (ORS), which 
establishes policies, procedures, and performance objectives for the 
USCIS Records Program. The Records Program manages over 160 million 
Alien-files and related records in support of the enforcement and 
benefits missions of the DHS. The ORS also manages the National Records 
Center and coordinates the USCIS Freedom of Information Act/Privacy Act 
(FOIA/PA) program.
2. Information and Customer Services
    Through the Information and Customer Services Program, USCIS 
reduces the frequency of repeated, redundant applicant and petitioner 
contact with USCIS employees, thus improving USCIS efficiency. USCIS 
makes it easier for the public to get the information they need when 
they need it, through multiple channels of available assistance, 
including the USCIS Web site, toll-free call center (National Customer 
Service Call Center), and face-to-face appointments. On an annual 
basis, USCIS: (1) Handles over 14 million calls via the National 
Customer Service Call Centers, (2) receives 78 million ``hits'' on the 
USCIS Web site, and (3) serves approximately five million individuals 
through information counters at local offices. The Information and 
Customer Services program currently receives 52% of its total funding 
from the IEFA.
    Each year millions of people apply for various types of benefits 
under the INA. The Immigration Information Officers (IIOs) provide 
information about immigration and nationality requirements; IIOs are 
not authorized to, and do not, provide legal advice to applicants and 
petitioners. IIOs assist with a wide variety of requests, including 
questions on how to complete required form types, and explain the 
administrative procedures and normal processing times for each 
application. IIOs provide a range of customer services, including 
certain case services and problem resolution assistance on applications 
and petitions. IIOs also process and make decisions on a limited array 
of applications and petitions. Positions are located throughout the 
country in Districts, Sub Offices, Asylum Offices, and Service Centers.
    Through the National Customer Service Center, USCIS provides toll-
free nationwide assistance to individuals calling from within the 
United States. Individuals can access live assistance from 8 a.m. until 
6 p.m., Monday through Friday (local time; hours slightly different for 
those persons calling from outside the continental United States). They 
can also access recorded information (including information about the 
status of their specific case) 24 hours a day/7 days a week. Both live 
and recorded service are available in English and Spanish. Callers from 
outside the United States can access limited information through a 
separate toll number.
    USCIS receives about 1.7 million direct information and customer 
service related contacts per month, or more than 20 million contacts 
per year.

[[Page 4896]]

Today, over 84% of all information and customer service interactions 
are self-service. The self-service options provide the public with new 
choices that are simpler and more effective to both the public and 
USCIS. They also save significant amounts of money compared to 
providing live assistance to all individuals.
    In-person service continues, however, to be a critical component of 
the USCIS service model. To improve service levels, USCIS has shifted 
to offering most in-person service by appointment that is scheduled 
through USCIS' Web site. This has helped reduce long lines and wait 
times, and address public concerns and inquiries. USCIS also has 
developed and made available online a new series of focused fact sheets 
on available services to assist and communicate more clearly with the 
public.
3. Administration
    Nine Headquarters offices provide administrative and mission 
support to Headquarters offices and USCIS field locations worldwide. 
The USCIS Administration program currently receives 100% of its total 
funding from the IEFA.
     The Office of Administration plans, develops, implements, 
and evaluates USCIS-wide policies and procedures for the operation of 
centrally managed, USCIS-wide support activities. It is responsible for 
programming, budgeting and oversight for the direct delivery of 
administrative support to USCIS in the areas of Acquisition, 
Procurement, Asset Management and Personal Property, Facilities and 
Real Property, and Logistics.
     The Office of Planning, Budget, and Finance is responsible 
for planning and budgeting integration and financial management 
activities.
     The Office of Chief Counsel consists of legal divisions 
advising and representing USCIS Operations both at Headquarters and in 
the field on behalf of the DHS General Counsel. Chief Counsel divisions 
include Adjudications Law, Refugee and Asylum Law, National Security, 
Commercial and Administrative Law, Ethics, Legislation, Field Offices, 
and Training, with each division responsible for reviewing, 
interpreting, and providing legal advice and litigation support to 
USCIS operational components.
     The Office of Citizenship promotes civic integration and 
instruction and training on citizenship responsibility for legal 
immigrants interested in becoming naturalized citizens of the United 
States, including development of educational materials and community 
outreach activities.
     The Office of Communications oversees and coordinates 
communication to internal and external stakeholders in order to empower 
employees with the tools needed to perform their jobs, to educate the 
public regarding USCIS benefits and services, and to facilitate 
consistent messaging for USCIS.
     The Office of Congressional Relations advises the Director 
on legislative matters and serves as the primary point of contact for 
members of Congress and congressional staffers.
     The Office of Policy and Strategy directs, prioritizes, 
and sets the agenda for USCIS-wide policy, strategy, and long-term 
planning activities, as well as research and analysis on immigration 
services issues.
     The Office of Security and Investigations (OSI) oversees 
secure communications and document storage, USCIS-wide physical and 
facility security programs, and security awareness training.
     The Office of Human Capital and Training manages human 
capital policy and operations and provides continuous professional 
training and career development to all USCIS employees through a 
variety of career, executive and managerial development programs.

IV. The Fee Review of Immigration Benefit Applications/Petitions and 
Biometric Services

    The current immigration benefit application and petition fees are 
based on the FY 1998 Fee Review, adjusted for cost of living increases 
and other factors. The FY 1998 Fee Review model does not reflect 
today's accounting models, costs and processes have changed 
significantly since the FY 1998 Fee Review, and the current fees do not 
reflect today's costs and procedures. This proposed rule is based on a 
new cost model, and proposes enhanced service levels, more complete 
funding of existing services, and specific cost allocation methods.

A. Methodology

    To develop this proposed rule, USCIS convened its Workload and Fee 
Projection Group. The Workload and Fee Projection Group is composed of 
subject matter experts throughout USCIS and statistical experts from 
the DHS Office of Immigration Statistics.
    USCIS employed an Activity-Based Costing (ABC) methodology to 
determine the full cost of immigration and naturalization benefit 
applications and petitions, as well as biometric services, for which 
fees are charged. This is an improved version of the same methodology 
used in the FY 1998 Fee Review that is the basis for the current fee 
structure. ABC is a business management tool that provides insight into 
the relationship between inputs (costs) and outputs (products and 
services) by quantifying how work is performed in an organization 
(activities).
    The ABC methodology uses a two-stage approach to assigning costs. 
The first stage assigns costs to activities, and the second stage 
assigns activity costs to products. For USCIS, the products are 
decisions on the immigration and naturalization benefit applications 
and petitions and the biometric services for which fees are charged. To 
implement this two-stage approach, ABC requires four analytic steps:
     Identifying and defining the activities involved in 
processing immigration and naturalization benefit applications and 
petitions and biometric services;
     Examining budgetary records/execution plans and additional 
resource requirements to identify the resources required to process 
immigration and naturalization benefit applications and petitions and 
biometric services;
     Assigning these resources to the defined processing 
activities; and
     Assigning processing activity costs to defined immigration 
and naturalization benefit applications and petitions and biometric 
services for which a fee is charged.
    USCIS used commercially available ABC software in computing the 
immigration benefit application/petition and biometric fees. This 
software application is designed to assign costs through activities to 
final products (applications/petitions and biometric services). The 
data entered into the software were tailored to USCIS specifications 
using the preexisting software structure. This new software is vastly 
improved over any models previously used by USCIS, particularly because 
it can readily accept the most up-to-date information, as well as 
``what-if'' scenarios, on a continual and real time basis for fee 
review and cost management purposes.

B. Assumptions

    As previously discussed, USCIS is assuming that it will no longer 
collect separate fee revenues from certain interim benefits or K-3 
petitions.
    In this proposed rule, USCIS is assuming no revenues from certain 
penalty fees. INA section 245(i), 8 U.S.C. 1255(i), permits certain 
aliens who otherwise would be ineligible for adjustment of status to 
lawful

[[Page 4897]]

permanent residence (primarily because of their unlawful presence) to 
obtain such adjustment upon payment of a $1,000 penalty in addition to 
the base application fee. Section 245(i) adjustment of status is 
available, however, only to beneficiaries of immigrant petitions or 
applications for labor certification filed on or before April 30, 2001. 
As a result of this sunset provision, USCIS has seen a steady decline 
in these revenues over the last several years ($66 million in FY 2001; 
$37 million in FY 2003; and $21 million in FY 2006) and projects that 
an insignificant amount of penalty fees will be collected by the time 
the proposed fee structure is in place given the finite and declining 
number of people affected by this legislation.
    USCIS does not anticipate any significant new Temporary Protected 
Status (TPS) populations at this time, although because of the nature 
of TPS (including, for example, response to natural disaster) USCIS 
cannot make such predictions with certainty. Given the statutory 
requirement that TPS status be periodically reviewed and the reasonable 
possibility of the termination of TPS designations for long-standing, 
high volume countries, USCIS must build its budgets on the assumption 
that it cannot rely on fee revenue from such programs to fund on-going 
activities. INA section 244, 8 U.S.C. 1254a. For planning purposes and 
without intending to forecast any particular policy assessments, USCIS 
has assumed that the TPS Program for re-registrants of certain 
nationalities will not continue, which will result in a substantial 
decline of volumes for Form I-821 (Application for Temporary Protected 
Status) and associated Form I-765 (Application for Employment 
Authorization). This assumption eliminates a limited source of fee 
receipts, but also reduces a larger amount of costs distributed across 
all other application fees because the statutory fee ($50) does not 
recover the full cost of processing TPS applications.
    Finally, USCIS assumes the elimination of revenues associated with 
the Form I-881, Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief Act--
Suspension of Deportation or Application Special Rule (NACARA 203). See 
Pub. L. 105-100, sec. 203, 111 Stat. 2196 (Nov. 19, 1997), as amended 
by Pub. L. 105-139, 111 Stat. 2644 (Dec. 2, 1997). This program 
provided a benefit for a finite group of people, the vast majority of 
whom are Guatemalans and Salvadorans who entered the United States 
prior to 1991 and who had an asylum application pending by specified 
deadlines in 1995 and 1996. Since enactment of NACARA, USCIS has 
adjudicated approximately 170,000 applications for relief under NACARA 
203. USCIS projects that by the end of FY 2007, nearly all qualifying 
NACARA 203 applications will have been adjudicated, and that there will 
be virtually no filings in FY 2008 and 2009. USCIS projects a decline 
in the annual workload volume from approximately 22,509 applications in 
FY 2006, to fewer than 200 in FY 2007.
    In FY 2001, the USCIS Asylum Division hired approximately 70 term 
employees to assist with the NACARA 203 workload. As the number of 
pending NACARA 203 applications and individuals still eligible to apply 
for this relief declined, the Asylum Division stopped back-filling term 
positions as they became vacant in order gradually to reduce the 
staffing level and budget commensurate with the decreasing workload. 
Thus, through attrition of the term employees, USCIS has been able to 
reach appropriate staffing levels for this workload. Cost adjustments 
associated with the workload were incorporated in the FY 2007 Enacted 
Budget.
    USCIS also assumes no revenues from applications for T nonimmigrant 
status, or self-petitions under the Violence Against Women Act of 1994 
(VAWA), Public Law 103-322, tit. IV, subtit. G, 108 Stat. 1796, 1902, 
1953 (Sept. 13, 1994), as reauthorized and amended, as this proposed 
rule exempts applicants from paying the otherwise applicable fees for 
these benefits. T nonimmigrant status is available to aliens, and 
certain family members, who (in the case of principal aliens) are 
victims of severe forms of trafficking in persons, are physically 
present in the United States or a United States jurisdiction on account 
of the trafficking, have (if over the age of 18) complied with any 
reasonable requests for assistance to investigate or prosecute the 
trafficking, and would suffer extreme hardship involving unusual or 
severe harm if removed from the United States.
    USCIS also assumes that the number of fee waiver requests will hold 
steady from FY 2006 levels. Although USCIS anticipates an increase in 
the number of fee waiver requests as a result of the proposed fee 
structure, this increase will be offset by the new fee waiver policy 
that limits fee waivers to certain situations as explained in section 
XI of this preamble. The number of fee exemption applications will 
increase over FY 2006 levels commensurate with new exemptions proposed 
in this rule (e.g., certain initial applications for benefits for 
humanitarian reasons--VAWA or T Visa).

C. Defining Processing Activities

    In ABC, activities are the critical link to assigning costs to 
products (decisions on applications/petitions and biometric services 
for which the USCIS charges a fee). USCIS used the following 
activities:
     Inform the Public, involving receipt and response to 
inquires through telephone calls, written correspondence, or walk-in 
inquiries;
     Capture Biometrics, involving electronic capture of 
biometric (fingerprint, photograph, signature) information, and 
background checks performed by the FBI;
     Intake, involving mailroom operations, data capture and 
collection, file assembly, fee receipting, and file room operations;
     Conduct Interagency Border Inspection System (IBIS) 
Checks, involving comparison of information on applicants, petitioners, 
beneficiaries, derivatives and others against various Federal lookout 
systems;
     Review Records, involving acquisition and creation of 
relevant files, consolidation of files, connection of returned evidence 
with application or petition files, movement of files upon request, and 
management of file location and archives;
     Make Determination, involving actual adjudication of 
applications and petitions, requests for additional evidence, 
interviewing of applicants, consultation with supervisors or legal 
counsel and researching applicable laws and decisions on complex 
adjudications, and recordation of decision;
     Fraud Detection and Prevention, involving detection, 
combat, and deterrence of immigration and naturalization benefit fraud; 
and,
     Issue Document, involving production and distribution of 
secure documents that identify the holder's immigration status or 
employment authorization.

D. Sources of Cost Information

    The first step in implementing an ABC methodology is to identify 
the appropriate amount of FY 2008/2009 IEFA costs and assign these 
costs to the defined processing activities. USCIS began with the FY 
2007 Enacted Budget (less non-recurring costs), adjusted for inflation 
for the FY 2008/2009 biennial period, and added resource requirements 
as the best available source of information for determining the full 
cost of immigration benefit applications/petitions and biometric 
services. The FY 2007 Enacted Budget ($1,760,000,000) best represents 
USCIS'

[[Page 4898]]

base resources since it is indicative of the costs incurred by USCIS 
today and adjusts the base for inflation from FY 2006 levels. Inflation 
is determined for this purpose by referring to Government-wide 
standards discussed below in section IV.E.2. The additional resource 
requirements are discussed below in section IV.E.3.

E. Adjustments

1. Non-Recurring Costs
    USCIS first eliminated any spending items in the FY 2007 Enacted 
Budget that would not recur after FY 2007. Accordingly the base was 
reduced by $8.5 million associated with the temporary expansion of 
Application Support Centers for additional workload associated with a 
temporary planned program for the recall of green cards issued before 
1989 and thus lacking expiration dates and up-to-date security 
features. After adjustment, the FY 2007 Enacted Budget has a base of 
$1,751,500,000.
2. Inflation
    USCIS then adjusted the FY 2007 IEFA Budget ($1,751,500,000) 
enacted level for the FY 2008 and FY 2009 biennial period by pay 
(Federal employee payroll and benefits) and non-pay (contracts, 
utilities, rent, etc.) inflation factors used by OMB in implementing 
OMB Circular A-76 (Performance of Commercial Activities), found at 
http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/circulars/a076/a76_incl_tech_correction.pdf
.

    The pay portion of the FY 2007 budget totals $727,600,000. The FY 
2008/2009 blended pay inflation factor is 3.3%. This blended pay 
inflation factor is calculated using 2.2% for FY 2008 plus half of 2.2% 
(1.1%) for FY 2009. The pay inflation of $24,010,800 was then added to 
the FY 2007 base, yielding a FY 2008/2009 pay base of $751,610,800.
    The non-pay portion of the President's FY 2007 Budget was 
$1,023,900,000. The blended non-pay inflation factor is 2.85%. The 
blended non-pay inflation factor is calculated using 1.9% for FY 2008 
plus half of 1.9% (0.95%) for FY 2009. The non-pay inflation of 
$29,181,150 was then added to the FY 2007 base, yielding a FY 2008/2009 
non-pay base of $1,053,081,150.
    These pay and non-pay inflation projections of $53.192 million 
yield a FY 2008/2009 base of $1,804,691,950.
3. Additional Resource Requirements
    USCIS also identified $524.3 million in additional resource 
requirements to fulfill legal requirements and policy decisions. These 
additional resource requirements involve costs above and beyond what 
was presented in the FY 2007 Enacted Budget, plus inflation for the FY 
2008/2009 biennial period, that are necessary for USCIS to meet its 
mission responsibilities. ``Additional Resource Requirements'' 
represent enhancements that are not currently funded in the FY 2007 
Enacted Budget. These include: (1) Service Enhancements, (2) Security 
and Integrity Enhancements, (3) Humanitarian Program Enhancements, and 
(4) Infrastructure Enhancements.
    a. Service Enhancements.
    USCIS is enhancing service to provide efficient and customer-
oriented immigration and naturalization benefit and information 
services. The following enhancements will enable USCIS to achieve and 
maintain timely processing of immigration and naturalization benefits; 
provide information resources and services to appropriate individuals 
and entities; foster a customer-centered approach to service delivery; 
and develop seamless, information technology (IT)--supported processes 
that efficiently support immigration and naturalization benefits 
adjudication and information sharing:
    Enhance adjudications and support staff to maintain application and 
petition processing times, officer training, additional capacity for 
unanticipated surges in workload, and process Notices to Appear. 
Additional funding is necessary to support a staffing model designed to 
align resources with the need to prevent future backlogs and provide 
for an efficient and effective workforce balance. This includes 
Adjudication Officers and support staff (Supervisors, Clerks, 
Immigration Information Officers, Records personnel, Administration 
personnel, and Quality Assurance Analysts). Current funding and the 
staffing model it supports are not sufficient to maintain prescribed 
processing time requirements. USCIS' staffing model incorporates 
additional requirements which include: (1) Additional time required of 
Adjudication Officers to attend removal proceedings when appropriate; 
(2) additional Adjudication Officer training to provide a 5% increase 
in USCIS' investment in employee training in order to maintain a more 
appropriate balance between the commitment to production and an ongoing 
investment in things, such as training, designed to improve qualitative 
performance; and (3) providing USCIS with a small surplus production 
capacity that gives USCIS flexibility to adapt to temporary increases 
in filings without those increases immediately affecting service levels 
to all applicants. USCIS' staffing model also provides capacity to 
improve processing times and service delivery over time rather than, at 
best, perpetuating current levels. This additional resource requirement 
addresses the need to reduce lengthy and costly waiting periods for 
determination of benefits and the need for relevant training and 
staffing to handle USCIS' substantial and complex workloads. This 
enhancement requires 1,004 staff and $123.8 million.
    Process Freedom of Information Act requests. The Freedom of 
Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552, provides for the public 
disclosure of governmental records unless an exemption applies. USCIS' 
FOIA program has been historically understaffed, resulting in a growing 
backlog that is currently 82,000 cases. USCIS determined that 
approximately 82 positions (74 contractors and eight government staff) 
would be needed in order to reduce the backlog by 50% the first year 
and the remaining 50% during the second year. Also, USCIS determined 
that a total of 146 staff is necessary to keep pace with the average 
120,000 cases per year workload. To reach the required level of staff 
to handle this continuing normal workload, an additional ten government 
staff are permanently needed. To meet the requirements of the FOIA to 
process 120,000 cases annually and eliminate existing while preventing 
new backlogs, this enhancement requires 18 staff and $8.8 million.
    Provide Change of Address (AR-11) data entry services. Aliens, who 
enter the United States and are required to be registered, must notify 
DHS of any change of address within ten days, using Form AR-11. INA 
section 265, 8 U.S.C. 1305; 8 CFR 265.1. USCIS estimates that the costs 
to support AR-11 data entry operations will total $1 million ($83,300 
per month). Over 480,000 AR-11 forms will be processed in FY 2008 
(268,000 nonimmigrant and 212,000 immigrant). Additionally, system 
operations and maintenance costs are estimated to cost approximately 
$200,000 per year. This enhancement requires $1.2 million.
    Print and distribute guidebooks for new naturalized citizens. USCIS 
currently prints and distributes a small quantity of two educational 
resources: A civics study guide, designed for naturalization 
applicants, that helps immigrants learn United States history and 
civics in preparation for the naturalization test; and the ``Citizen's 
Almanac,'' a document to be given to each new citizen at his or her 
naturalization ceremony, which presents America's most cherished

[[Page 4899]]

founding documents, Presidential quotes on citizenship, and other 
civics and history content. This enhancement requires approximately 
$900,000 and would allow USCIS to produce a larger quantity of these 
documents.
    Enhance mail and file room support for the Administrative Appeals 
Office. The Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) produces appellate 
decisions that provide fair and legally supportable resolutions of 
individual applications and petitions for immigration benefits. This 
enhancement provides needed resources for the AAO's requirements for 
clerical support for the office's mail and file room operations. In 
addition to mail and file room support, contractors answer the 
telephone, obtain electronic records, update information in electronic 
databases, provide periodic reporting of receipts and completions, and 
conduct workload analysis. This enhancement requires $129,000.
    b. Security and Integrity Enhancements.
    Consistent with the President's and the Secretary's priorities, 
USCIS is enhancing the security and integrity of the immigration and 
naturalization system. The following enhancements will enable USCIS to 
ensure that benefits are granted only to eligible applicants and 
petitioners; deter, detect, and pursue immigration and naturalization 
benefits fraud; and identify and communicate immigration and 
naturalization-related information to partners in support of DHS 
strategic goals:
    Establish a second, full-service card production facility and fully 
fund card production workload. The Federal Information Security 
Management Act (FISMA), Pub. L. 107-347, 116 Stat. 2899 (Dec. 17, 2002) 
(40 U.S.C. 11331; 44 U.S.C. 101 note, 3541-3549), and implementing 
directives require compliance with National Institute of Standards and 
Technology principles for critical systems for contingency planning. To 
meet these standards, USCIS must establish a second full-service card 
production site. The second facility will support day-to-day production 
as well as be available in the event of catastrophic failure. Finally, 
additional funding is included to fully fund card production 
requirements based on workload projections. To meet these requirements, 
USCIS is proposing to add four staff and $32.4 million.
    Enhance fraud prevention and detection efforts. To meet its 
mandated responsibilities of enhancing fraud prevention and detection 
efforts, USCIS created the FDNS to implement, direct, and oversee anti-
fraud and detection operations throughout USCIS. By focusing efforts on 
such initiatives as Benefit Fraud Assessments, FDNS is better able to 
acquire the information needed to determine the type, causes, and 
amount of fraud that exist, so as to focus efforts accordingly. FDNS 
has developed and implemented a joint anti-fraud strategy with 
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for the referral of all 
suspected fraud cases. Due to the volume of referrals, only those cases 
meeting the ICE threshold (large conspiracies, multi-party, etc.) are 
accepted for criminal investigation. Since the majority of referrals do 
not meet the threshold, they are returned to FDNS for initiation of an 
administrative inquiry/investigation. Additionally, FDNS identifies 
systemic vulnerabilities and other weaknesses that could compromise the 
integrity of the legal immigration system by reviewing existing 
regulations, policies and procedures and offering corrective remedies 
where deficiencies exist. This enhancement requires 170 staff and $31.3 
million.
    Enhance the delivery of secure documents. USCIS currently delivers 
its secure documents (Permanent Resident Cards, Employment 
Authorization Documents and travel documents) through the United States 
Postal Service (USPS) first class mail. There is no process in place 
that enables USCIS to track their delivery and ensure that these 
documents are delivered to the proper recipient. Some beneficiaries 
claim not to have received their documents in the mail to avoid paying 
document replacement fees. USCIS and the USPS have partnered to develop 
and implement a process wherein the documents would be delivered via 
USPS priority mail (two to three day delivery) with delivery 
confirmation. The additional funding will enable USCIS to track 
delivery of each document and to respond to queries from applicants 
regarding the status of document delivery. This enhancement requires 
$31.6 million.
    Pay increased costs due to the FBI for background checks. USCIS 
pays the FBI for fingerprint and name checks performed on certain 
immigration and naturalization benefit applications. USCIS needs the 
additional funds to align with the projected filing increases for Forms 
N-400 and I-90, less the projected decrease in Form I-485. USCIS will 
also be expanding the biometric service to applications for travel 
documents and petitions to remove conditions of residence (Forms I-131 
and I-751). Finally, USCIS is providing additional funds to the FBI for 
name check costs to enhance services. This enhancement requires $12.4 
million.
    Enhance national security systems and processes. Funding is 
necessary to continue the enhancement of the FDNS Data System and other 
supporting systems. The development effort will enable FDNS to 
creatively leverage new technology to enhance the ability to centrally 
direct and oversee the resolution of background check hits pertaining 
to national security, egregious public safety, and fraud 
investigations. These data systems will be used by all FDNS employees 
and will assist in the adjudication of all cases with national security 
and fraud implications. This enhancement is also needed to provide for 
major enhancements and improvements to USCIS'/FDNS national security 
background check process (i.e. software, systems development and change 
management and training efforts). All systems efforts will be 
coordinated with the USCIS Transformation Office to ensure system 
integration. Additionally, these systems will facilitate FDNS in its 
data sharing efforts with law enforcement agencies and other authorized 
government offices. This enhancement requires $4 million.
    Enhance Internal Security and Investigative Operations. Internal 
Security and Investigative Operations includes the conduct of 
investigations of allegations of misconduct for approximately 15,000 
USCIS federal and contract employees located throughout the United 
States as well as many located overseas. Additionally, this program is 
charged with: preparation and delivery of relevant training to all 
USCIS employees; specific training for and oversight of selected 
collateral duty ``management inquiry representatives'' (or fact-
finders); the conduct of and follow-up to program and office 
inspections geared toward the integrity of personnel, products and 
processes; coordination of efforts with companion investigative 
authorities; material contribution to the USCIS counter-intelligence 
program; and preparation of general and specific reports to USCIS 
executives. There are presently only a limited number of investigators 
for these activities. To keep pace with demand, to ensure professional 
and timely investigative activity and result, and to ensure 
proportional capability growth, USCIS requires an additional 60 field-
based and five headquarters-based investigative staff resulting in a 
total of 78 investigative personnel. This enhancement requires 65 staff 
and $15 million.

[[Page 4900]]

    Establish an Administrative Site Inspection Program. Funds are 
necessary to support an administrative site inspection program aimed at 
deterring fraud when USCIS has determined a systematic vulnerability. 
This initiative will enable the USCIS to secure contract support to 
conduct preliminary site inspections that will serve as an enhancement 
to the existing FDNS personnel's abilities to conduct administrative 
investigations and enable the FDNS staff officers to focus on high risk 
cases. Inspections have been identified as an invaluable tool in 
detecting fraud. This and other USCIS anti-fraud initiatives will help 
restore integrity to this Nation's legal immigration system. This 
enhancement requires $8 million.
    Enhance Protective Security Operations. USCIS has or operates 
within approximately 281 facilities, 250 of which are located within 
the United States and 31 located overseas. Approximately 15,000 federal 
and contract employees work within and are associated with these 
facilities. There are presently only a limited number of Field Security 
Officers available to provide the full range of security services to 
protect USCIS operations, products, personnel and facilities. Current 
shortfalls in this critical activity increase the risks aimed at 
existing USCIS personnel, facilities, products and mission success. 
This enhancement requires 36 staff and $8.3 million.
    Enhance existing card production program. The USCIS document 
production facility utilizes contractor support for its document 
production activities. The prime contractor on site is responsible for 
securing maintenance contracts on the equipment to ensure that all 
equipment runs optimally, without interruptions. Many companies will 
not prorate their maintenance contracts and want to have them funded on 
an annual basis, which becomes problematic when USCIS does not issue a 
full year of funding to its production contractor. Current funding 
mechanisms do not allow for contractor support during the full period 
of performance reflected in the contract, and result in inefficient use 
of both program office contracting officer technical representative 
time, and contract officer and administration time, as duplicative work 
needs to be performed each time additional funds are placed on the 
contract. The additional base requirement will enable USCIS to fund the 
production support contract for the full 12-month period of 
performance. By doing this, USCIS can ensure that secure document 
production can continue without disruptions associated with continuing 
resolutions and interim funding allocations that may develop at the 
beginning of new fiscal years. This enhancement requires $4.4 million.
    Enhance Emergency Preparedness Operations; Establish Crisis 
Management and Information Security Operations; and Enhance Technology 
Security Operations. USCIS needs additional funds to prepare to 
continue essential operations and to recover from an event or incident 
and return to full operations. Funds are required to conduct Continuity 
of Operations (COOP) exercises and successful participation in and 
contribution to government COOP exercises. Continued refinement of 
training and presentation of that training to various audiences and at 
various locations is critical. Additional funding is also necessary to 
operate a certified full-time, real-time mission coordination and 
support capability for national security information control and 
communications throughout USCIS and with DHS and other agencies. This 
includes sustained operation and security of the Crisis Communications 
and Coordination Center on a real-time 24/7 basis to monitor USCIS 
operations throughout the world and to permit secure communications 
throughout the Federal government on behalf of USCIS executive 
leadership. Finally, additional funding is necessary, in conjunction 
with the USCIS Office of Information Technology, to review all USCIS IT 
efforts with specific focus on the security aspects of those efforts 
and systems, including expert forensic IT analyses related to internal 
investigations. Internal use of the data, and use of the data by 
external authorities, especially when required to address emergency 
incident situations, require an ongoing and certain commitment to the 
security features of its IT infrastructure and the data therein. This 
enhancement requires 14 staff and $3.0 million.
    Enhance Personnel Security Operations. Additional funding is 
necessary to provide proper and timely security clearances for USCIS 
and contract employees; review of and contributions to USCIS 
acquisitions for goods and services; and coordination with other 
agencies and authorities to assure maintenance of current, accurate and 
complete personnel security information. This enhancement requires ten 
staff and $1.6 million.
    c. Humanitarian Program Enhancements.
    USCIS supports the United States' humanitarian commitments. This 
support includes fully funding the Cuban Haitian Entrant Program 
(CHEP). CHEP assists the resettlement of Cubans and Haitians who are 
irregular arrivals or paroled into the United States, including those 
who are paroled directly from Cuba under the Cuban Special Migration 
Program. In FY 2006, two non-government grant recipients, Church World 
Service and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, provided 
resettlement services. The actual number of migrants served each year 
is unpredictable, in part because many arrive irregularly. This 
enhancement requires $14 million.
    d. Infrastructure Enhancements.
    USCIS is strengthening the infrastructure necessary to achieve 
USCIS' mission. The following enhancements will enable USCIS to 
strengthen key management processes, systems, and administrative 
support activities, including information technology infrastructure; 
enhance the organization's ability to support the mission in an 
environment of fluctuating workloads and new external mandates; and 
manage financial resources strategically, including revenue, 
expenditures, and capital investments:
    Upgrade and maintain the USCIS information technology environment. 
Additional funds are necessary to upgrade and maintain the USCIS 
information technology environment, which includes several programs in 
support of a national security-based immigration process that is more 
effective and customer focused. One of the programs will provide 
necessary technology upgrades to the current USCIS enterprise legacy IT 
systems so that these comply with OMB, GAO, DHS, and other Federal 
regulations, law, and guidelines. Decommissioning of the legacy 
environment systems is a lengthy process and, in the meantime, these 
systems are required to be upgraded to meet minimum standards in the 
areas of IT security and privacy.
    Another program focuses on upgrading and maintaining the USCIS IT 
operating environment so that it can sustain continued operations, 
reduce IT security risks and information sharing limitations through 
hardware and software standardization, and maintain USCIS' ability to 
process cases and support Federal enforcement organizations. By having 
a more reliable IT environment, USCIS staff can better support 
applicants and petitioners.
    The third program provides USCIS with the capability to implement 
quick turnaround IT solutions as well as feature/functional 
enhancements to the enterprise legacy IT environment to address time 
critical needs and legislative changes that occur on a

[[Page 4901]]

frequent and on-going basis. Funds are also necessary for other 
activities to provide additional trained and experienced IT Government 
staff, governance capabilities, IT security, continuity of operations 
planning and disaster recovery, and other IT oversight capabilities. 
This enhancement requires 88 staff and $124.3 million.
    Rent and lease acquisition resources. Rental payments to the 
General Services Administration for USCIS facilities are currently 
budgeted at $153 million, but are projected to increase to $168 
million. Thus, additional resources are required to fund projected FY 
2008/FY 2009 payments. In addition, the Lease Acquisition Program (LAP) 
is the USCIS' Real Property Capital Assets Investment Plan. This 
program will improve workplaces to better meet USCIS mission and goals 
and better utilize real property assets. Current USCIS real property 
inventory includes 188 facility leases requiring sustainment from year 
to year. Most leases have a 10-year term and must be either renewed or 
replaced at the end of the term. Recent experience shows that 11 
facility projects are required each year, either as a replacement for a 
non-renewable lease or for a renewal in the same facility but with 
additional space. USCIS currently has 37 leases that have already or 
will expire by FY 2008. The LAP currently is funded for $16.8 million 
based on the lease expiration schedule; the lease funding requirement 
is $34.9 million. The additional funding allows USCIS to increase its 
investment in facilities, so that its local offices can meet 
appropriate standards, and applicants/petitioners and others coming to 
those offices can be reasonably comfortable. This enhancement requires 
$33.1 million.
    Enhance the training program for all USCIS employees to foster 
organizational individual achievement by promoting continuous learning. 
The additional funds will enable USCIS to expand both mission support 
and professional development modules available to all USCIS employees 
through online technology. The USCIS Learning Management System 
provides mandatory training modules, mission support modules, and more 
than 2000 commercial, Web-based, information technology, business, and 
leadership courses for personal and professional development. In 
addition, USCIS requires resources to plan and develop a comprehensive 
and continuing orientation plan for all USCIS employees. This program 
will serve as the primary vehicle for introductory, foundational and 
continuous information about DHS and USCIS leadership, mission, core 
values, vision, organizational structure and policies. It will also 
provide functional information about USCIS' business processes and 
practices, standard operating procedures and the cultural environment 
of a high-performance organization that is an employer of choice. This 
program will serve as a cornerstone for promoting employee career 
development, leadership development, and succession management. The 
project will also include the development of web-based orientation 
modules.
    Finally, funds will be used to support an Enterprise Development 
Program that will provide USCIS government employees with an Individual 
Learning Account (ILA), which includes annual resources and time set 
aside exclusively for training. This program is seen as the primary 
means for employees to increase their knowledge, skill and capacity to 
perform their work and build careers consistent with USCIS goals for 
performance excellence. Such a program is designed to enhance 
critically needed training while taking advantage of USCIS 
transformational initiatives including the availability of new 
technologies and processes. This enhancement requires 25 staff and 
$41.2 million.
    Enhance resources for the Office of Chief Counsel. Additional 
resources will be focused on filling the legal needs of USCIS' field 
offices, both district and regional, where most areas do not currently 
have any attorney on site. The provision of additional attorneys will 
allow USCIS to ensure that there is at least one attorney available in 
each district. All types of litigation continue to increase, including 
mandamus actions when USCIS is perceived to not respond to applications 
in a timely manner, employment, acquisition protests, and claims. 
Furthermore, there is a critical need to advise adjudicators and 
investigators on issues affecting national security concerns and 
citizenship qualifications. Attorney responsibilities include providing 
on-site legal advice on immigration benefits-related matters, 
adjudications involving issues of national security, visa appeal 
briefs, reviewing Notices to Appear, and providing litigation support 
to the Department of Justice's litigating divisions and United States 
Attorneys' Offices. Additional attorneys will also provide training to 
USCIS personnel on issues involving immigration related adjudications, 
inadmissibility and deportability. This enhancement requires 30 staff 
and $7.4 million.
    Transfer records to the National Archives and Records 
Administration. The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) 
has determined, pursuant to 44 U.S.C. 2905, that immigration records 
should become permanent records of the United States. Therefore, all 
immigration records that become eligible for retirement based upon the 
year of birth will be turned over in five-year ``collections.'' The 
first collection is to include records relating to persons born in 1907 
or earlier. All records transferred to NARA must be inventoried. Due to 
the age of records and data integrity, the records must be audited and 
systems must be updated before the transfer. Therefore, $3.4 million is 
needed annually to audit the immigration records in preparation for the 
transfer of ownership of over 25 million records to the NARA to become 
permanent records. USCIS will begin transfer of all immigration records 
with 1907 year of birth and earlier beginning in 2008. This initiative 
will span a period of ten years. Future records will be transferred to 
NARA as they become eligible. This mandatory cost totals $3.4 million.
    Fully fund the Human Resources and Occupational Safety and Health 
Service Level Agreements/Programs. Based on workload trends over the 
past three years, USCIS requires an additional $3 million that will 
allow the service provider, the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection 
(CBP), to provide additional capacity to handle human resources and 
occupational safety and health requirements. In addition, an additional 
$150,000 (fully-burdened costs) will allow USCIS to meet the 
requirement to provide every supervisor with occupational safety and 
health training. This enhancement requires $3.2 million.
    Conduct policy evaluation and research. The Homeland Security Act 
of 2002 (HSA), Public Law 107-296, sec. 451, 116 Stat. 2135, 2195 (Nov. 
25, 2002), requires that USCIS conduct policy research to develop sound 
information to inform and guide immigration program and policy 
development. In addition, the Government Performance Results Act of 
1993 (GPRA), Pub. L. 103-62, 107 Stat. 285 (Aug. 3, 2003) (codified in 
various sections of titles 5 and 31 U.S.C.), requires agencies to 
evaluate pilot and experimental programs that are designed to improve 
mission delivery, including efficiency, national security and customer 
service, before implementing such programs on a large scale. USCIS 
requires funding to conduct targeted research and evaluation to develop 
and assess policy options affecting national immigration programs and 
policies and to assess

[[Page 4902]]

USCIS pilot programs. The mandated research and evaluation efforts will 
ensure prudent use of USCIS resources, enhanced information to inform 
policy options and impact assessment, and improved performance 
consistent with the stated GPRA and HSA requirements. This enhancement 
requires $3.1 million.
    Enhance internal controls, build a data warehouse for performance 
information, enhance budget staff, conduct competitive sourcing 
reviews, and provide additional financial management resources to 
evaluate and analyze service level agreements under the auspices of the 
Office of Chief Financial Officer. In an effort to strengthen USCIS' 
planning and financial management functions, during FY 2006 USCIS 
created an Office of the Chief Financial Officer (CFO). The 
strengthened CFO function within USCIS ensures that reasonable internal 
controls exist within USCIS to safeguard assets from waste, fraud and 
abuse. In order to execute these duties, additional resources are 
necessary to review organizational program offices. The reviews require 
highly skilled personnel to assess internal USCIS components. The 
assessments identify vulnerabilities in program regulations, standard 
operating procedures, and work processes. This element of review is 
imperative as self-assessment is key to eliminating internal fraud, 
waste and abuse, as well as identifying inefficiencies and recommending 
corrective actions. In addition, funds sought will be used for 
additional staff to maintain the financial health and stability of the 
USCIS.
    Finally, DHS mandated that USCIS, ICE and CBP establish service 
level agreements covering several core administrative support areas. 
While these service level agreements have been established, USCIS needs 
to strengthen oversight of the services performed and received. Several 
of the key factors that justify service level agreements, such as cost 
efficiencies, consistency in operational processing, and effective 
cross-agency communication require better monitoring. Funds will also 
be used for staff to evaluate and analyze service level agreements to 
gauge the benefits. Currently, performance evaluations/surveys are not 
initiated to ensure accountability and effectiveness or efficiency. 
This enhancement requires 16 staff and $3.1 million.
    Establish a National Recruitment Program. Since its inception, 
USCIS has not had the resources to establish a National Recruitment 
Program (NRP). According to the Office of Personnel Management, the 
recruitment process for federal employers holds a number of challenges, 
one of which is the ability to replace an aging workforce. Over the 
next five years, over half of USCIS' workforce will be eligible for 
retirement. USCIS must be positioned to compete for talent in light of 
the retirement wave. The primary mission of the NRP will be to help 
management attract the right talent in order to ensure the employment 
of a high-quality and diverse workforce making USCIS an employer of 
choice. This enhancement requires three staff and $3.0 million.
    Enhance procurement operations. The current procurement workload 
requires additional contract specialists. Currently, USCIS has only ten 
warranted contract specialists averaging 171 actions annually. USCIS 
procurement staff obligated approximately $605 million in new 
contractual actions in FY 2005, in addition to administering $4 billion 
in ongoing contracts. Also, the USCIS Office of Contracting recently 
assumed responsibility for the USCIS portion of several large contracts 
formerly administered by ICE. Continued understaffing poses significant 
internal control issues and increases the risk that limited contract 
dollars will not be used as effectively as possible. This request will 
double the size of USCIS' Office of Procurement. This enhancement 
requires ten staff and $1.6 million.
4. Summary
    Table 4 summarizes the calculation of the FY 2008 / 2009 costs at 
the $2.329 billion (rounded to the nearest million).

                    Table 4.--FY 2008/2009 IEFA Costs
------------------------------------------------------------------------

------------------------------------------------------------------------
FY 2007 IEFA Budget....................................      $1,760,000
Less: Non-Recurring Costs..............................          (8,500)
FY 2007 Adjusted IEFA Budget...........................       1,751,500
Plus: Inflation........................................          53,192
Plus: Additional Resource Requirements.................         524,317
                                                        ----------------
    Total..............................................       2,329,000
------------------------------------------------------------------------

F. Determining Application and Petition Surcharge Costs

    Asylum/Refugee and fee/exempt costs are referred to as 
``surcharges'' since they are not directly related to the processing 
activity costs of a particular immigration benefit. These costs must be 
ascertained and then applied to all fee-paying applications.
1. Asylum and Refugee Costs
    Congress has authorized USCIS to set its immigration benefit 
application and petition fees at a level that recovers sufficient 
revenue to provide asylum and refugee services. INA section 286(m), 8 
U.S.C. 1356(m). USCIS determined the asylum and refugee surcharge costs 
to be $191 million or 8% (including $14 million for the Cuban Haitian 
Entrant Program as identified in the ``Additional Resource 
Requirements'' section in part IV.E) of the FY 2008/2009 IEFA Costs.
2. Fee Waiver/Exemption Costs
    Congress has authorized USCIS to set its immigration benefit 
application and petition fees at a level that recovers sufficient 
revenue to provide services to other immigrants at no charge. INA 
section 286(m), 8 U.S.C. 1356(m). Eligible applicants and petitioners 
are granted fee waivers if they can establish that they are unable to 
pay the fee. In addition, asylum and refugee applicants are exempt from 
paying the fee for certain immigration benefit applications and 
petitions. This amount also includes fees received from applicants 
residing in the Virgin Islands of the United States and in Guam, since 
these fees are paid over to the treasuries of the Virgin Islands and 
Guam per section 286(m) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1356(m). USCIS determined 
the full costs of fee waivers and exemptions by subtracting the 
workload volume from the fee-paying volume of each application/
petition, and multiplying that amount by the proposed fee. USCIS 
determined the fee waiver/exempt costs to be $150 million or 6% of the 
FY 2008/2009 IEFA Costs.

G. FY 2008/2009 Processing Activity Costs

    The amount of immigration and naturalization benefit application 
and petition and biometric costs that were

[[Page 4903]]

assigned to processing activities was determined by adjusting the FY 
2008/2009 IEFA costs by the costs attributable to the asylum/refugee 
and fee waiver/exemption services.
    Table 5 summarizes the total of $1.988 billion assigned to 
processing activities (dollars in thousands):

            Table 5.--FY 2008/2009 Processing Activity Costs
------------------------------------------------------------------------

------------------------------------------------------------------------
FY 2008/2009 IEFA Costs................................      $2,329,000
Less: Asylum and Refugee Services......................        (191,000)
Less: Fee Waiver and Exempt Services...................        (150,000)
                                                        ----------------
    Total..............................................       1,988,000
------------------------------------------------------------------------

V. Volumes

    USCIS used two types of volume data in the fee review. The first is 
workload volume (measured in terms of the number of incoming 
applications and petitions) that was used as one of the main cost 
drivers for assigning processing activity costs to immigration and 
naturalization benefit applications and petitions (explained further in 
section VII.B). The other is fee-paying volume data that was used as 
the denominator in the equation to calculate the immigration and 
naturalization benefit application and petition and biometric service 
unit costs.

A. Biometric Services

    Projected volume decreases from the FY 2006 levels include a 
projected decline of 304,086 in associated biometric services for TPS. 
As mentioned previously, USCIS will not assume that the TPS Program for 
re-registrants of certain nationalities will continue. USCIS also 
projects a workload volume decline of 22,509 associated with the 
conclusion of NACARA filings. In addition, USCIS projects a decrease of 
119,075 in corresponding biometric service volume given the decrease in 
Form I-90 (130,124), less the increases in Form N-400 (4,074) and Form 
I-485 (6,975). This issue is explained in the next section. These 
decreases are offset by an increase in biometric services of 282,000 
since USCIS will be expanding biometric services to the Form I-131 
(Refugee Travel Document, Reentry Permit only) and Form I-751 (Petition 
to Remove the Conditions on Residence) in FY 2007. This was not 
projected in the FY 2007 IEFA budget. The overall projected decrease in 
biometric services from FY 2006 levels is 163,670. Given a workload 
volume of 3,318,000 in FY 2006, the projected FY 2008/2009 workload 
volume is 3,154,330. Also, given the fee-paying volume of 2,359,482 in 
FY 2006, the projected FY 2008/2009 fee-paying volume is 2,195,812.

B. Immigration Benefit Applications and Petitions

    As previously stated, this rule proposes to eliminate USCIS' 
operational dependency on certain interim benefit fees. Interim 
benefits are associated with the Form I-765, Application for Employment 
Authorization, and Form I-131, Application for Travel Document (Advance 
Parole only), that are issued to individuals on request while their 
applications for adjustment of status to permanent residence (Form I-
485, Application to Register Permanent Status or Adjust Status) are 
pending. USCIS' analysis of interim benefits associated with a pending 
Form I-485 identified a total fee-paying volume decrease of 517,000 
applications (317,000 Form I-765 and 200,000 Form I-131). This proposed 
rule eliminates separate fees for interim benefits for applicants for 
adjustment of status to permanent residence.
    As previously mentioned, this proposed rule eliminates K-3 (certain 
spouses of United States citizens) petition fees associated with Form 
I-129F. USCIS' analysis of K-3 petitions identifies a volume decrease 
of 20,997 in the total number of fee-paid Form I-129F as a result of 
this change.
    USCIS also will not assume that TPS for re-registrants of certain 
nationalities will continue, resulting in an assumed decline of volumes 
for Form I-821 (Application for Temporary Protected Status) and Form I-
765. As such, USCIS projects a decrease in volume of 304,086 for each 
of these benefits, with the fiscal effect adjusted by the fact that 
there is no fee charged for the Form I-821 for re-registrants.
    USCIS projects that there will be no filings for Form I-881, 
Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief Act--Suspension of 
Deportation or Application Special Rule (NACARA 203) in FY 2008 and 
2009, for a workload volume decline of 22,509 (from 22,509 in FY 2006 
to zero). The fee-paying volume decline is 22,487.
    Projected volume increases are the product of projections from the 
USCIS Workload and Fee Projection Group--similar to the FY 1998 Fee 
Review. USCIS leveraged a time series model based on a regression 
analysis over the last 15 years, with the most recent data trends given 
the greatest weight. USCIS then adjusted this data based on known or 
projected program, policy, or other factors that would impact the 
analysis. The Workload and Fee Projection Group mainly focused on the 
applications and petitions that comprise the majority of the workload. 
For the remainder of the workload, USCIS used FY 2006 actual volumes 
for the FY 2008/2009 biennial period. The Workload and Fee Projection 
Group did not foresee a reason to change these figures from FY 2006 
levels since this was a fairly typical year.
    The Workload and Fee Projection Group projected an overall decrease 
of 391,824 in immigration benefit application and petition volumes over 
FY 2006 levels due to projected decreases in Form I-129 (17,955), Form 
I-130 (3,189), Form I-131 (32,880), Form I-140 (5,158), Form I-539 
(13,531), Form I-687 (workload of 37,778; fee-paying of 36,756), Form 
I-765 (162,583), Form I-90 (130,124), less increases projected in the 
Form I-485 (6,975), Form N-400 (4,074), and other form types (325).
    Finally, USCIS is proposing to exempt applicants from paying a fee 
from certain initial applications for benefits for humanitarian 
reasons. This includes all applicants filing Form I-914 (124 fee-paying 
applications), Application for T Nonimmigrant Status, and Form I-360, 
Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant, who seek 
immigrant classification under VAWA (8,813 fee-paying applications). 
These applications have in common the fact that they are filed by 
victims of crime who are often in an extremely vulnerable position. 
Many of these applicants are already in a position to qualify for an 
individual fee waiver, and waiving fees more generally for these 
relatively low-volume applications will save the adjudication time 
necessary to consider fee waivers individually, and will serve the 
public interest without undue cost to other applicants as a

[[Page 4904]]

result. The costs associated with these exemptions increase the 
surcharge for fee exemptions, and are added to all applications in 
accordance with the methodology identified in section VIII.
    In sum, the overall projected workload decrease in immigration 
benefit applications and petitions from FY 2006 levels is 414,317. 
Given a total workload volume of 5,991,362 in FY 2006, the projected FY 
2008/2009 total workload volume is 5,577,045. The overall fee-paying 
decrease is 960,204. Given the total fee-paying volume of 5,702,571 in 
FY 2006, the projected FY 2008/2009 total fee-paying volume is 
4,742,367 (includes additional fee exemptions for humanitarian reasons 
outlined above).
    USCIS' projections show a decline in the total volume of 
applications. However, staffing requirements to handle this work 
increase relative to current levels because the current staffing level 
is based on what USCIS can afford, not what is required to meet 
acceptable performance standards. That situation contributed to large 
backlogs in the past. As stated previously, USCIS was only able to 
catch up temporarily through the infusion of a large temporary subsidy 
of appropriated dollars that allowed USCIS to temporarily acquire 
sufficient capacity to handle the work.
    Table 6 summarizes the FY 2006 actual workload volumes, the 
projected FY 2008/2009 biennial workload volumes, and the difference by 
application/petition.

                               Table 6.--Workload Volumes by Application/Petition
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                     FY 2006      FY 2008/2009
                                                                     actual         projected
                            Form No.                                workload        workload        Difference
                                                                     volume          volume
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I-90...........................................................         682,149         552,025        (130,124)
I-102..........................................................          24,139          24,035            (104)
I-129..........................................................         417,955         400,000         (17,955)
I-129F.........................................................          66,177          66,177  ...............
I-130..........................................................         747,012         743,823          (3,189)
I-131..........................................................         371,880         339,000         (32,880)
I-140..........................................................         140,158         135,000          (5,158)
Waiver Applications............................................          45,459          45,459  ...............
Form I-290B/Motions............................................          47,645          47,645  ...............
I-360..........................................................          16,086          16,000             (86)
I-485..........................................................         606,425         613,400           6,975
I-526..........................................................             600             600  ...............
I-539..........................................................         233,531         220,000         (13,531)
I-600/600A.....................................................          29,500          29,601             101
I-687..........................................................          38,278             500         (37,778)
I-690..........................................................           3,293           3,293  ...............
I-694..........................................................           3,696           3,696  ...............
I-695..........................................................              29              56              27
I-698..........................................................             831             494            (337)
I-751..........................................................         143,360         143,000            (360)
I-765..........................................................       1,462,583       1,300,000        (162,583)
I-817..........................................................           5,762           5,762  ...............
I-824..........................................................          40,105          40,785             680
I-829..........................................................              88              88  ...............
I-881..........................................................          22,509  ..............         (22,509)
I-905..........................................................               2              10               8
I-914..........................................................             403             400              (3)
N-300..........................................................              91             100               9
N-336..........................................................          13,692          14,000             308
N-400..........................................................         730,642         734,716           4,074
N-470..........................................................             669             669  ...............
N-565..........................................................          31,902          32,000              98
N-600/600K.....................................................          64,711          64,711  ...............
                                                                ------------------------------------------------
    Total......................................................       5,991,362       5,577,045        (414,317)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    To calculate unit costs, USCIS identified the number of fee-paying 
volumes for each application/petition and biometric fee by dividing the 
actual fee revenues received in FY 2006 by the FY 2006 fee. USCIS then 
adjusted this number to reflect the filing trends in FY 2007, which is 
reflected in Table 7.

                              Table 7.--Fee-Paying Volumes by Application/Petition
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                     FY 2006                       FY 2008/2009
                            Form No.                              actual  fee-      Adjustment    projected  fee-
                                                                 paying  volume                   paying  volume
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I-90...........................................................         640,529        (130,124)         510,405
I-102..........................................................          22,486            (104)          22,382
I-129..........................................................         417,712         (17,955)         399,757
I-129F.........................................................          65,728         (20,997)          44,731

[[Page 4905]]


I-130..........................................................         743,741          (3,189)         740,552
I-131..........................................................         365,048        (232,880)         132,168
I-140..........................................................         134,901          (5,158)         129,743
Waiver Applications............................................          45,459  ...............          45,459
I-290B/Motions.................................................          47,645  ...............          47,645
I-360..........................................................          13,671          (8,899)           4,772
I-485..........................................................         548,035           6,975          555,010
I-526..........................................................             600  ...............             600
I-539..........................................................         229,160         (13,531)         215,629
I-600/600A.....................................................          29,159             101           29,260
I-687..........................................................          37,256         (36,756)             500
I-690..........................................................           3,293  ...............           3,293
I-694..........................................................           3,696  ...............           3,696
I-695..........................................................              25              27               52
I-698..........................................................             668            (337)             331
I-751..........................................................         130,529            (360)         130,169
I-765..........................................................       1,339,126        (479,583)         859,543
I-817..........................................................           5,762  ...............           5,762
I-824..........................................................          39,551             680           40,231
I-829..........................................................              45  ...............              45
I-881..........................................................          22,487         (22,487)  ..............
I-905..........................................................               2               8               10
I-914..........................................................             124            (124)  ..............
N-300..........................................................              83               9               92
N-336..........................................................          13,640             308           13,948
N-400..........................................................         706,387           4,074          710,461
N-470..........................................................             669  ...............             669
N-565..........................................................          30,643              98           30,741
N-600/600K.....................................................          64,711  ...............          64,711
                                                                ------------------------------------------------
    Total......................................................       5,702,571        (960,204)       4,742,367
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

VI. Assigning Costs to Processing Activities

    USCIS uses a detailed operating plan to manage its resources 
effectively. The plan identifies the payroll (pay and benefits, awards, 
overtime) and non-payroll costs (general expenses, information 
technology, contracts) associated with each USCIS office, as well as 
costs that are managed and funded centrally such as rent, information 
technology operations and maintenance, and service level agreements. 
The operating plan is a vast improvement over the cost data used in the 
FY 1998 Fee Review, where the information was only available at very 
high levels conglomerating various functions.
    Each USCIS office was classified as ``overhead'' versus ``direct.'' 
This classification was performed since direct cost items can be 
directly ``assigned'' to activities based on a relationship that is 
readily identifiable between the cost item and a processing activity. 
For example, an Adjudications Officer performs work under the ``Make 
Determination'' activity. Therefore, the costs associated with an 
Adjudications Officer are directly assigned to this activity. Overhead 
cost items are ``allocated'' to activities since no direct relationship 
can be developed between the resource item and the activity. For 
example, there is no direct relationship between the Office of 
Planning, Budget, and Finance and the ``Make Determination'' activity, 
and as such, a portion of the costs from this office were allocated to 
the ``Make Determination'' activity based on number of government 
staff, as was the case with most overhead cost items.

A. Overhead Costs

    USCIS defined overhead as ``the ongoing administrative expenses of 
a business which cannot be attributed to any specific business 
activity, but are still necessary for the business to function.'' 
Examples include the majority of Headquarters functions such as the 
Office of Planning, Budget, and Finance, the Office of Information 
Technology, the Office of Chief Counsel, the Congressional Relations 
Office, and the Office of Policy and Strategy. These offices are 
further identified in section III.D under the ``Administration'' 
program. Field functions classified as overhead include support 
positions such as management, administration, analysts and information 
technology staff. Centrally managed costs such as rent, information 
technology operations and maintenance, and service level agreements 
were also classified as overhead.
    Total overhead costs were identified to be $924 million, of which 
$183 million is payroll (20%) and $741 million is non-payroll (80%). 
Total overhead costs represent 39% of the FY 2008/2009 IEFA costs. This 
includes $41.2 million to enhance the training program, $33.1 million 
for rent and lease acquisition resources, and $124.3 million to upgrade 
and maintain the USCIS information technology environment as identified 
in section IV.E.3. USCIS assessed a total of $843 million ($924 million 
less $81 million associated with the asylum and refugee program) in 
overhead costs as a flat percentage of each application/petition and 
biometric processing activity costs. While the amount of the overhead 
will vary between processing activities, the percentage of cost is 
constant.

B. Direct Costs

    USCIS reviewed and analyzed the FY 2008/2009 IEFA costs in detail 
to determine which direct items could be

[[Page 4906]]

directly assigned to the immigration benefit application/petition and 
biometric service processing activities. The following depicts the 
major direct cost items assigned to the processing activities:
    Inform the Public. Of the $1.988 billion assigned to immigration 
benefit application/petition and biometric service processing 
activities, $228 million or 11% is assigned directly to the ``Inform 
the Public'' activity. ``Inform the Public'' includes $43 million for 
the National Customer Service Center contract and support activities to 
provide nationwide assistance by telephone to individuals calling from 
within the United States about immigration services and benefits. Most 
of the $80 million in direct payroll costs (including $9.5 million of 
the $123.8 million to enhance adjudications and support staff as 
identified in section IV.E.3) are for IIOs who assist persons with 
information necessary to complete required form types and explain the 
administrative procedures and average processing times for each 
application/petition.
    Intake. Of the $1.988 billion assigned to immigration benefit 
application/petition and biometric service processing activities, $86 
million or 4% is assigned directly to the ``Intake'' activity. 
``Intake'' includes $84 million for activities related to the mail, 
filing, data entry, and fee receipting at USCIS Service Centers. It 
also includes $2 million for the lockbox, which is an agent of the 
Department of Treasury that performs the electronic fee receipting, fee 
deposit, and initial data entry for specific form types.
    Conduct IBIS Checks. Of the $1.988 billion assigned to immigration 
and naturalization benefit application and petition and biometric 
service processing activities, $48 million or 2% is assigned directly 
to the ``Conduct IBIS Check'' activity. Since July 2002, USCIS has 
added security checks to the processing of all immigration and 
naturalization benefit applications and petitions. ``Conduct IBIS 
Check'' includes $23 million in direct payroll costs of Adjudication 
Officers and other authorized personnel to compare information on 
applicants, petitioners, beneficiaries, derivatives and household 
members who apply for an immigration or naturalization benefit on a 
USCIS application or petition against various Federal lookout systems.
    Review Records. Of the $1.988 billion assigned to immigration 
benefit application/petition and biometric service processing 
activities, $214 million or 11% is assigned directly to the ``Review 
Records'' activity. ``Review Records'' includes $54 million in direct 
payroll costs to oversee records operations (including processing 
Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests) in Headquarters, the 
National Records Center (a centralized facility for storing alien 
records), and field offices. This activity covers $8.8 million in new 
funding to process FOIA requests (as identified in section IV.E.3), a 
$17 million records support contract to maintain records at local field 
offices, $13 million in contract support staff in support of the 
Harrisonburg File Facility for receipt file holdings, and the National 
Archives and Records Administration contract for the retirement of 
alien files, among other records activities.
    Make Determination. Of the $1.988 billion assigned to immigration 
benefit application/petition and biometric service processing 
activities, $1.058 billion or 53% is assigned directly to the ``Make 
Determination'' processing activity. This activity includes $421 
million in direct payroll costs for Adjudication Officers and support 
personnel (including $78.2 million of the $123.8 million to enhance 
adjudications and support staff as identified in section IV.E.3), $24 
million for field office discretionary general expenses, $13 million 
for field office overtime, $50 million for investment technology field 
support contract, $3.2 million for field training, $23 million for the 
National Benefits Center contract, $21 million for the adjudications 
clerical contract in support of field offices, and $11.5 million in 
Application Support Center contract costs in direct support of 
processing the Form I-90 (Application to Replace Permanent Resident 
Card).
    Fraud Detection and Prevention. Of the $1.988 billion assigned to 
immigration and naturalization benefit application and petition and 
biometric service processing activities, $90 million or 5% is assigned 
directly to the ``Fraud Detection and Prevention'' activity. This 
activity includes $50 million in payroll costs for Immigration Officers 
and Intelligence Research specialists to detect and combat immigration 
and naturalization benefit fraud. The activity also includes $31 
million in additional government staff for fraud prevention and 
detection efforts, $8 million for a new Administrative Site Inspection 
Program, and $4 million in system enhancements to national security 
systems and processes (as identified in section IV.E.3).
    Issue Document. Of the $1.988 billion assigned to immigration and 
naturalization benefit application/petition and biometric service 
processing activities, $90 million or 5% is assigned directly to the 
``Issue Document'' activity. The ``Issue Document'' activity involves 
work performed at centralized facilities to produce secure cards for 
certain immigration benefits. This includes $20 million for the 
Integrated Card Production system, including the contract, consumables, 
and information and technology operations and maintenance. The activity 
also includes $32.4 million for a backup card production facility, and 
$31.6 million for the enhanced delivery of secure documents (as 
identified in section IV.E.3).
    Capture Biometrics. Of the $1.988 billion assigned to immigration 
and naturalization benefit application and petition and biometric 
service processing activities, $174 million or 9% is assigned directly 
to the ``Capture Biometrics'' activity. The ``Capture Biometrics'' 
activity includes $74 million in contract costs and $12.5 million in 
direct payroll costs (most of which is for Application Support Center 
managers) of operating the Application Support Centers to 
electronically capture applicants' fingerprints, photographs, and 
signatures. This activity also includes $63 million (including $12.4 
million for increased costs associated with an overall increase in 
projected biometric workload as well as an increase in FBI background 
check costs passed on to USCIS through an interagency agreement, as 
identified in section IV.E.3) in costs paid to the FBI to conduct the 
appropriate background checks of fingerprints and/or applicant names 
(depending upon the immigration benefit). This is a change in the 
manner in which USCIS currently calculates the biometric fee since FBI 
background check costs were previously included in the immigration 
benefit application/petition fees. USCIS believes this is a more 
accurate methodology since there is a direct relationship between the 
biometric workload and the costs paid to the FBI. In addition, under 
this method, applicants and petitioners directly bear the costs of FBI 
background checks, as is the case today.
    The FY 2008/2009 IEFA costs by processing activity are summarized 
in Table 8 (dollars in thousands).

           Table 8.--FY 2008/2009 Costs by Processing Activity
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                Amount
                          Activity                              (000)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Capture Biometrics.........................................     $174,000

[[Page 4907]]


Inform the Public..........................................      228,000
Intake.....................................................       86,000
Conduct IBIS Checks........................................       48,000
Review Records.............................................      214,000
Make Determination.........................................    1,058,000
Fraud Detection and Prevention.............................       90,000
Issue Document.............................................       90,000
                                                            ------------
    Total..................................................    1,988,000
------------------------------------------------------------------------

VII. Assigning Processing Activity Costs to Applications and Petitions 
and Biometric Services

    In ABC, the final stage in the process is assigning the processing 
activity costs to the products. The products are decisions on the 
immigration and naturalization benefit applications and petitions and 
biometric services for which USCIS charges fees.

A. Biometric Services

    The ``Capture Biometrics'' processing activity was assigned 
directly to the biometric fee. The unit cost for this activity, and the 
biometric fee, is $79 based on total costs of $174 million and a fee-
paying volume of 2.196 million. The other processing activities 
represent the basic components of processing immigration and 
naturalization benefit applications and petitions.

B. Immigration Benefit Applications and Petitions

    In general, the more complex an immigration or naturalization 
benefit application or petition is to adjudicate, the higher the unit 
costs. This is because the largest processing activity cost, ``Make 
Determination,'' was assigned to the various immigration and 
naturalization benefit applications and petitions by a factor of 
workload volume weighted by completion rate (hours per completion). 
Workload volume is the measure of how many times an activity is 
performed for a particular product (number of application/petitions and 
biometrics received in a fiscal year), and ``completion rate'' measures 
the average adjudicative time or ``level of effort'' needed to perform 
the activity for a particular product, since time is a key factor in 
determining immigration benefit application and petition fees. The 
completion rates were based on the most recent data available from the 
period of September 2005-August 2006. Exceptions to this general rule 
occur when: (1) Volumes skew the unit costs (e.g., high volume 
applications tend to have lower unit costs since costs are allocated 
over a higher volume base), (2) additional activities were performed 
(e.g., some applications require the creation of secure cards); and 3) 
applications and petitions with low volumes were increased only by the 
weighted average fee increase (discussed below).
    For the processing activities of ``Inform the Public,'' ``Intake,'' 
``Conduct IBIS Check,'' ``Review Records,'' ``Fraud Prevention and 
Detection'' and ``Issue Document,'' the applications and petitions 
reflect the same average unit processing activity costs for each 
activity. The ``Issue Document'' processing activity costs were 
allocated only to those applications for which a secure document is 
required. This is a departure from the basis of the current fees since 
the current unit processing activity costs vary for every immigration 
benefit application and petition. USCIS decided that this was the best 
allocation method since these processing activity costs are not 
particularly driven by the complexity of the application/petition, and 
also to minimize the dollar impact on the more complex applications and 
petitions (which already will carry higher fees due to their 
complexity).
    As explained previously, USCIS assumed no separate interim benefit 
fees from Form I-485 applicants, and thus added interim benefit costs 
from the ``Make Determination'' activity into the cost of the Form I-
485, the primary immigration benefit application for which interim 
benefits are relevant. USCIS accomplished this by adding the completion 
rates for the Forms I-765 and I-131 to the Form I-485 completion rate. 
As a result, the costs for the ``Make Determination'' activity for the 
Form I-485 received more of those costs, including associated overhead 
costs, than it normally would have without factoring in interim 
benefits. USCIS believes this is a fair and equitable methodology since 
applicants, when filing a Form I-485, would also pay for the processing 
costs of interim benefits, and would not be required to pay for 
surcharges, other processing activities, and associated overhead costs 
more than once as they do today. Interim benefit costs outside the 
``Make Determination'' processing activity were distributed to the 
other immigration benefit applications and petitions in accordance with 
the general methodology. Also explained previously, in anticipating the 
elimination of duplication in the K-3 petition process, USCIS assumed 
no revenues from Form I-129F as it relates to the K-3 classification, 
depending instead on one petition on Form I-130. This, too, has the 
effect of redistributing costs relating to the K-3 classification over 
all other form types.
    USCIS leveraged ``completion rates,'' reflective of hours per 
completion, to identify the adjudicative time required to complete 
specific form types. The rate for each form type represents an average, 
as some cases within certain form types are more complex than others. 
Completion rates reflect what is termed ``touch time'' or the time the 
Adjudication Officer is actually handling or touching the case. 
Completion rates are not reflective of ``queue time'' or time spent 
waiting, for example, for additional information or supervisory 
approval. ``Touch time'' and ``queue time'' are different from 
``processing time,'' which reflects the total time applicants and 
petitioners can expect to await a decision on their case once the 
application or petition is received by USCIS. Even though the 
completion rates for select applications and petitions have increased 
since the FY 1998 Fee Review, as referenced in section X, processing 
times have decreased for the majority of form types.
    All Adjudication Officers are required to report completion rate 
information. In addition to using this data in determining fees, 
completion rates are a key factor in determining local office staffing 
allocations to match resources and workload since the type of workload 
(and amount) dictates the resource requirements. For this reason, the 
data are scrutinized both at the local office and regional level by 
management, and by the Performance Management Branch (PMB) at the 
Headquarters level to ensure data accuracy. When the data reported are 
found to be inconsistent with other offices, or inconsistent with prior 
reported data, PMB will contact the reporting office and make any 
necessary adjustments. USCIS also places confidence in the data, given 
the consistency of reporting it has witnessed over the last few years. 
The fact that this information is now available on a continual basis 
makes it easier for USCIS to update cost information more frequently 
for fee review and cost management purposes. This methodology is 
substantially superior to that available for the FY 1998 Fee Review, 
where it was necessary to use a method of physical observations (based 
on a statistically valid sample).
    Local Office, Service Center, and the National Benefit Center 
completion rates, reflected in terms of hours per completion, are 
summarized in Table 9 by application and petition. The completion rates 
for Form I-914 are not identified here since this proposed rule

[[Page 4908]]

would exempt applicants from paying the fee for this form type, and the 
completion rates for Form I-290B/Motions (Administrative Appeals 
Office) and Biometric Services (Application Support Centers) are also 
not identified here since specific costs can be directly assigned to 
these fee-based services, and therefore the factors of workload volume 
and completion rates are not necessary to assign processing activity 
costs to products.

                                           Table 9.--Completion Rates
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                      Service        National
                            Form No.                               Local offices      centers     benefit center
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I-90............................................................             .93             .50             N/A
I-102...........................................................             .61             .30             .39
I-129...........................................................             .09             .40             N/A
I-129F..........................................................            4.98             .41             .37
I-130...........................................................             .86             .35             .65
I-131...........................................................             .54             .20             .14
I-140...........................................................            2.00             .87             N/A
Waiver Applications.............................................            1.15            1.10             .85
I-360...........................................................             .95            2.26             N/A
I-485...........................................................            2.30            1.30            2.65
I-526...........................................................            2.38            4.03             N/A
I-539...........................................................            1.32             .28             .31
I-600/600A......................................................            1.53             N/A             N/A
I-687...........................................................            2.37            2.89             .27
I-690...........................................................            3.49            1.91             .23
I-694...........................................................            4.00             .72             N/A
I-695...........................................................            1.85           13.00             N/A
I-698...........................................................            2.43            2.40             N/A
I-751...........................................................            1.36             .46             N/A
I-765...........................................................             .31             .19             .16
I-817...........................................................            1.81             .46             .64
I-824...........................................................            1.10             .39             .69
I-829...........................................................            4.45            4.24             N/A
N-300...........................................................            1.67             N/A             N/A
N-336...........................................................            1.34             N/A             N/A
N-400...........................................................            1.17             N/A             N/A
N-470...........................................................            1.48            1.91             N/A
N-565...........................................................             .58             .60             N/A
N-600/600K......................................................             .80            1.17             N/A
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Table 10 displays the unit costs (processing activity costs divided 
by the number of fee-paying applications/petitions) for each 
immigration benefit application and petition by processing activity, 
and the average processing activity unit costs. The processing activity 
costs were identified in Table 8, and the number of fee-paying 
applications/petitions was identified as 4.742 million in Table 7.
    The application and petition unit costs are generally increased by 
varying amounts according to the form type, mainly due to the ``Make 
Determination'' processing activity cost differences. As previously 
stated, the ``Make Determination'' processing activity unit cost 
generally follows the premise that the more complex the application/
petition is to adjudicate, the higher the unit costs. For the 
processing activities of ``Inform the Public,'' ``Intake,'' ``Conduct 
IBIS Check,'' ``Review Records,'' ``Fraud Prevention and Detection'' 
and ``Issue Document,'' the applications and petitions reflect the same 
average unit costs for each processing activity. Since the ``Issue 
Document'' processing activity costs were allocated only to those 
applications for which a secure document is required, the average 
processing activity unit costs of $19 (based on total fee-paying volume 
of 4.742 million) is less than the processing activity unit costs of 
$41 (based on associated fee-paying volume of 2.193 million) for the 
associated applications.

                                            Table 10.--Processing Activity Unit Costs by Application/Petition
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                                      Fraud                   Total unit
                                                 Inform the                 Conduct       Review         Make       prevention     Issue      processing
                   Form No.                        public       Intake     IBIS check    records    determination      and        document     activity
                                                 (dollars)    (dollars)    (dollars)    (dollars)      (dollars)    detection    (dollars)       cost
                                                                                                                    (dollars)                 (dollars)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I-90..........................................           48           18           10           45            34            19           41          215
I-102.........................................           48           18           10           45           104            19            0          244
I-129.........................................           48           18           10           45           104            19            0          244
I-129F........................................           48           18           10           45           239            19            0          379
I-130.........................................           48           18           10           45           142            19            0          282
I-131.........................................           48           18           10           45            49            19           41          230
I-140.........................................           48           18           10           45           261            19            0          401
Waiver Applications...........................           48           18           10           45           331            19            0          471
I-290B/Motions................................           48           18           10           45           371            19            0          511
I-360.........................................           48           18           10           45         2,268            19            0        2,408
I-485.........................................           48           18           10           45           647            19           41          828

[[Page 4909]]


I-526.........................................           48           18           10           45         1,212            19            0        1,352
I-539.........................................           48           18           10           45            84            19            0          224
I-600/600A....................................           48           18           10           45           453            19            0          593
I-687.........................................           48           18           10           45           495            19            0          635
I-690.........................................           48           18           10           45           390            19            0          530
I-694.........................................           48           18           10           45           330            19            0          470
I-695.........................................           48           18           10           45         1,117            19            0        1,257
I-698.........................................           48           18           10           45         1,107            19           41        1,288
I-751.........................................           48           18           10           45           210            19           41          391
I-765.........................................           48           18           10           45            83            19           41          264
I-817.........................................           48           18           10           45           182            19           41          363
I-824.........................................           48           18           10           45           126            19            0          266
I-829.........................................           48           18           10           45         2,579            19           41        2,760
N-300.........................................           48           18           10           45           536            19            0          676
N-336.........................................           48           18           10           45           391            19            0          531
N-400.........................................           48           18           10           45           378            19            0          518
N-470.........................................           48           18           10           45           428            19            0          568
N-565.........................................           48           18           10           45           167            19            0          307
N-600/600K....................................           48           18           10           45           245            19            0          385
                                               ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Average Application/Petition..............           48           18           10           45           223            19           19          382
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

VIII. Assigning Surcharge Costs to Applications and Petitions

    The final step in calculating the immigration and naturalization 
benefit application and petition fees is to add amounts to recover 
asylum and refugee costs, and fee waiver and exempt costs. As 
previously mentioned, these costs are referred to as ``surcharges'' 
since they are not directly related to the processing activity costs of 
a particular immigration benefit. Surcharges are not assigned to the 
biometric fee.

A. Method of Assigning Costs

    USCIS used the same average unit surcharge cost for every 
application and petition type. This is a departure from the current 
allocation methodology, since the current surcharges are based upon a 
flat percentage of each application/petition processing activity cost 
and therefore vary for each case type. USCIS decided that using the 
same average cost is a better allocation method, since the surcharges 
are unrelated to the complexity of the application/petition, and this 
new allocation method also minimizes the dollar impact on the more 
complex applications and petitions (which already will carry higher 
fees due to their complexity).

B. Fee Waiver/Exemption Costs

    As previously stated, total fee waiver and exemption costs were 
determined to be $150 million. The average of $32 was derived by 
dividing the $150 million by the total 4.742 million application/
petition fee-paying volumes.

C. Asylum/Refugee Costs

    As previously stated, the full costs of asylum and refugee 
operations were determined to be $191 million. The average of $40 was 
derived by dividing the $191 million by the total 4.742 million 
application/petition fee-paying volume.
    Table 11 displays the amount of surcharges applied to each 
application and petition on a per unit basis. Unit processing activity 
costs average (weighted) $382 or 86% of FY 2008/2009 IEFA costs, while 
unit fee waiver/exemption and Asylum/Refugee surcharges average $72 or 
14%. This equates to a weighted average unit cost per application/
petition of $454.

                                 Table 11.--Application and Petition Unit Costs
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                       Unit          Unit fee      Unit asylum/
                    Form No.                        processing     waiver/exempt      refugee       Total unit
                                                   activity cost     surcharge       surcharge         cost
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I-90............................................            $215             $32             $40            $287
I-102...........................................             244              32              40             316
I-129...........................................             244              32              40             316
I-129F..........................................             379              32              40             451
I-130...........................................             282              32              40             354
I-131...........................................             230              32              40             302
I-140...........................................             401              32              40             473
Waiver Applications.............................             471              32              40             543
I-290B/Motions..................................             511              32              40             583
I-360...........................................           2,408              32              40           2,480
I-485...........................................             828              32              40             900
I-526...........................................           1,352              32              40           1,424
I-539...........................................             224              32              40             296
I-600/600A......................................             593              32              40             665

[[Page 4910]]


I-687...........................................             635              32              40             707
I-690...........................................             530              32              40             602
I-694...........................................             470              32              40             542
I-695...........................................           1,257              32              40           1,329
I-698...........................................           1,288              32              40           1,360
I-751...........................................             391              32              40             463
I-765...........................................             264              32              40             336
I-817...........................................             363              32              40             435
I-824...........................................             266              32              40             338
I-829...........................................           2,760              32              40           2,832
N-300...........................................             676              32              40             748
N-336...........................................             531              32              40             603
N-400...........................................             518              32              40             590
N-470...........................................             568              32              40             640
N-565...........................................             307              32              40             379
N-600/600K......................................             385              32              40             457
                                                 ---------------------------------------------------------------
    Weighted Average Application/Petition.......             382              32              40             454
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

IX. Proposed Fee Adjustments

    To arrive at the final proposed fees, the unit costs are rounded up 
or down to the nearest $5 increment consistent with past fee practices 
as reflected in 8 CFR 103.7(b).

A. Biometric Services

    The biometric fee is increased by $10, from $70 to $80, or 14%. 
USCIS last increased the fee by $20, from $50 to $70, or 40% in April 
2004. As discussed above, a portion of this fee is paid by USCIS to the 
FBI for fingerprint processing and that cost may change.

B. Immigration Benefit Applications and Petitions

    The weighted average application/petition fee is increased by $223, 
from $231 to $454, or 96%. When combined with the biometric fee, the 
weighted average application/petition is increased from $264 to $491, 
or 86%. After consolidating the fees for adjustment of status (Form I-
485) and interim benefits that previously required additional fees, the 
increase would only be 66%. When USCIS last performed a comprehensive 
fee review in FY 1998, the immigration benefit application/petition 
fees increased by a weighted average of $65 or 76%, from $85 to $150.
    To arrive at the proposed fees, in addition to rounding 
adjustments, USCIS adjusted certain low volume form types. Since some 
low volume form types (20,000 or less) produced particularly high unit 
costs as compared to the current fees (greater than 250%), USCIS 
decided to increase them only by the average percentage fee increase 
(96%) of all immigration benefit applications and petitions. The 
additional costs from these form types were then prorated to other 
applications and petitions. These form types are:
     Form I-360, Petition for Amerasian Widow(er) or Special 
Immigrant (with respect to those Form I-360 applicants whose fee is not 
removed altogether);
     Form I-690, Application for Waiver of Excludability;
     Form I-695, Application for Replacement Employment 
Authorization or Temporary Residence Card;
     Form N-300, Application to File Declaration of Intention; 
and
     Form N-470, Application to Preserve Residence for 
Naturalization Purposes.
    USCIS did, however, use its normal methodology to increase proposed 
fees for form types related to the legalization program under the 
Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, INA sec. 245A, 8 U.S.C. 
1255a (Form I-694, Notice of Appeal of Decision; Form I-698, 
Application to Adjust Status From Temporary to Permanent Resident) and 
for Form I-829, Petition by Entrepreneur to Remove Conditions, although 
these increases were more than 250%. These applications, which relate 
to IRCA legalization applicants who have resided in the United States 
since at least 1982, or entrepreneurs seeking lawful permanent 
residence on the basis of investments of at least $500,000, did not 
appear to involve a substantial rationale for a lower fee than would 
otherwise be charged under the applicable methodology.
    The proposed fee schedule for the immigration and naturalization 
benefit applications and petitions is illustrated in Table 12. The 
proposed rounded fee for each application or petition is compared to 
the current rounded fee, and the difference between the two is 
identified. This table omits some variations within specific form types 
relating to children, family caps, etc.; for these fees, please see the 
proposed regulation text itself.

                  Table 12.--Current and Proposed Fees
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                 Proposed
            Form No.              Current fee      fee       Difference
                                    (dollars)   (dollars)     (dollars)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
I-90............................          190          290          100
I-102...........................          160          320          160
I-129...........................          190          320          130
I-129F..........................          170          455          285
I-130...........................          190          355          165
I-131...........................          170          305          135

[[Page 4911]]


I-140...........................          195          475          280
Waiver Applications.............          265          545          280
I-290B/Motions..................          385          585          200
I-360...........................          190          375          185
I-485...........................          325          905          580
I-526...........................          480        1,435          955
I-539...........................          200          300          100
I-600/600A......................          545          670          125
I-687...........................          255          710          455
I-690...........................           95          185           90
I-694...........................          110          545          435
I-695...........................           65          130           65
I-698...........................          180        1,370        1,190
I-751...........................          205          465          260
I-765...........................          180          340          160
I-817...........................          200          440          240
I-824...........................          200          340          140
I-829...........................          475        2,850        2,375
I-914...........................          270            0         (270)
N-300...........................          120          235          115
N-336...........................          265          605          340
N-400...........................          330          595          265
N-470...........................          155          305          150
N-565...........................          220          380          160
N-600/600K......................          255          460          205
                                 ---------------------------------------
    Weighted Average Application/         231          454          223
     Petition...................
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Based on the proposed fee schedule and a projected application/
petition fee-paying volume of 4.742 million and biometric service 
volume of 2.196 million, immigration and naturalization benefit 
application and petition and biometric fees will generate $2.331 
billion in annual revenue for the FY 2008 and FY 2009 biennial period. 
For the same period, the estimated FY 2008/2009 cost of processing 
immigration and naturalization benefit applications and petitions and 
biometric services is $2.329 billion. The $2 million difference is due 
to rounding.

X. Impact on Applicants and Petitioners

    The USCIS recognizes that this proposed rule would have an impact 
on persons who file the affected applications and petitions and 
biometric fees. The proposed fee increases range from $65 to $2,350, 
depending on the type of immigration or naturalization benefit for 
which the application or petition is submitted. Fifteen fees will 
increase by amounts between $65 and $200; eight fees will increase, and 
one will decrease, by amounts between $200 and $300; one fee will 
increase by amounts between $300 and $400; and six fees will increase 
more than $400.
    USCIS is retaining the authority to waive certain fees on a case-
by-case basis pursuant to 8 CFR 103.7(c). In all fee waiver requests, 
applicants are required to demonstrate ``inability to pay.'' In 
determining ``inability to pay,'' USCIS officers will consider all 
factors, circumstances, and evidence supplied by the applicant 
including age, disability, household income, and qualification within 
the past 180 days for a federal means tested benefit. The current fees 
are based on a comprehensive fee review completed in FY 1998 that was 
based on projected FY 1998 costs and volumes, and processes that 
existed in FY 1996. The new fee review proposes to correctly align the 
fees with currently planned costs and processes. The methodology is 
similar to the FY 1998 Fee Review, yet improved in many areas given the 
more detailed and accurate data sources and improved management tools 
to align resources and workload (e.g., staffing model). For these 
reasons, the proposed fees cannot be compared to the current fees 
because so many of the factors that influence the costs of processing 
immigration benefit application and petition fees have changed over 
this significant amount of time. However, besides the fact that overall 
costs have increased dramatically, the increases in fees can mainly be 
explained by comparing completion rate data (termed ``cycle time'' in 
the FY 1998 Fee Review).
    As stated previously, the more time or ``level of effort'' spent on 
adjudicating a particular application or petition, measured in terms of 
completion rates, the higher the fee. Most of the increases in 
completion rates are associated with the additional time devoted to the 
expansion of background checks to all immigration benefit applications 
instituted in July 2002. Examples include:
     Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker, fee 
increase is due to the threefold increase in completion rates (i.e., 
three times the level of effort) as compared with the FY 1998 Fee 
Review;
     Form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fianc[eacute], fee 
increase is due to the threefold increase in completion rates as 
compared with the FY 1998 Fee Review;
     Waiver Applications, fee increases are due to the 
threefold increase in completion rates as compared with the FY 1998 Fee 
Review;
     Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Status or 
Adjust Status, fee increase is due to the threefold increase in 
completion rates as compared with the FY 1998 Fee Review, as well as 
the manner in which interim benefits are added to this form type as 
explained in section VI (when comparing the fees applicants pay today 
for adjustment of status and interim benefits versus the proposed 
single fee for adjustment of

[[Page 4912]]

status, the difference is far less significant);
     Form N-400, Application for Naturalization, fee increase 
is due to the threefold increase in completion rates as compared with 
the FY 1998 Fee Review;
     Form I-751, Petition to Remove the Conditions on 
Residence, fee increase is due to the doubling in completion rates as 
compared with the FY 1998 Fee Review; and
     Form I-817, Application for Family Unity Benefits, fee 
increase is due to the threefold increase in completion rates as 
compared with the FY 1998 Fee Review.
    Finally, even though the fee for Form I-290B/Motions was increased 
recently (September 28, 2005), the actual Fee Review supporting the 
increase was completed in November 2002. The data that were used for 
the current fee are outdated and costs have significantly increased. 
The November 2002 Fee Review was not a comprehensive analysis, as it 
did not analyze the full costs outside the Administrative Appeals 
Office that should be assigned to this form type, such as overhead, and 
other activities outside of the ``Make Determination'' activity such as 
``Fraud Prevention and Detection,'' and ``Inform the Public'' 
activities. In addition, the November 2002 Fee Review did not include 
the allocation of fee waiver/exempt and asylum and refugee surcharges 
to the Form I-290B/Motions as this rulemaking does.

XI. Fee Waivers

    In tandem with the proposed increase in fees, USCIS also proposes 
to modify and clarify eligibility for an individual fee waiver in 8 CFR 
103.7(c). Where appropriate in its fee structure, USCIS waives the 
application/petition fee for a class of applicants/petitioners. For 
example, there is no fee for filing an application for asylum. The 
applicable rule, 8 CFR 103.7(c) provides for an individual fee waiver 
request in other cases. USCIS considers waiving the fee for a single 
individual based on his or her circumstances when all others in similar 
circumstances applying for the same benefit or service must pay the 
fee.
    Every fee waiver, whether for a group of applicants done through 
the rate setting process or through an individual fee waiver, does not 
simply waive the fee for the affected individual or individuals. Since 
USCIS is funded from application fees, a fee waiver transfers the cost 
to all other fee-paying applicants. Fairness requires that there be 
compelling reasons when granting an individual fee waiver to one 
applicant while making others applying for the same benefit or service 
pay full cost plus a surcharge to pay for the free service provided to 
the first customer.
    In recent months, the number of individual fee waiver requests has 
risen, both in terms of total volume and as a percentage of 
applications filed. In addition, the proposed rate setting is based on 
historical data with respect to fee waivers. The higher fees proposed 
in this rule would likely mean more customers will apply for fee 
waivers as they attempt to avoid the rising costs of applying for a 
benefit or service. The process of considering a fee waiver request 
itself has a significant associated adjudication cost.
    To offset this potential, this proposed rule clarifies the fee 
waiver process by limiting fee waivers to certain situations. The 
current rule permits application for a fee waiver even when such an 
application contradicts the basic benefit or service being requested. 
For example, companies can apply for a waiver of the fee when seeking 
to admit a foreign worker to whom they must pay appropriate wages. 
Similarly, individuals may apply for a fee waiver when seeking status 
based on a substantial investment or an extension of stay where they 
must demonstrate the ability to support themselves during the period of 
extended stay without working. Applicants for permanent residence must 
demonstrate they can support themselves and will not become a public 
charge, and those seeking to sponsor the immigration of a relative must 
commit to providing a financial safety net to the relative if necessary 
to ensure the alien does not become a public charge, yet such 
applicants can seek a fee waiver.
    These examples illustrate situations where the basic premise of a 
fee waiver is wholly or largely inconsistent with the status held or 
benefit or service sought. The proposed rule applies this principle by 
limiting the possibility of a fee waiver to certain kinds of 
applications where a need-based waiver is not inconsistent with the 
status or benefit being sought. In so doing, it also clarifies and 
simplifies the waiver process. The proposed rule limits the list of 
applications for which an individual fee waiver based on inability to 
pay may be granted to the Form I-90; Form I-751; Form I-765; Form I-
817; Form N-300; Form N-336; Form N-400; Form N-470; Form N-565; Form 
N-600; Form N-600k; and the Form I-290B (if relating to a motion or 
appeal filed with USCIS regarding one of the other waiver-eligible form 
types).
    Finally, a fee waiver based on an inability to pay implicates other 
provisions of the INA. INA section 212(a)(4), 8 U.S.C. 1182(a)(4), 
provides that an alien who is likely to become a public charge is 
inadmissible to the United States. In family-sponsored immigration, for 
example, this potential ground for inadmissibility may be overcome 
through the appropriate affidavit of support under INA section 213A, 8 
U.S.C. 1183a. USCIS should not grant a waiver of a fee that indicates 
that the alien may be inadmissible and such affidavit of support may be 
suspect.

XII. Statutory and Regulatory Reviews

A. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    In accordance with the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5. U.S.C. 
601(6), USCIS examined the impact of this proposed rule on small 
entities. A small entity may be a small business (defined as any 
independently owned and operated business not dominant in its field 
that qualifies as a small business per the Small Business Act (15 
U.S.C. 632)), a small not-for-profit organization, or a small 
governmental jurisdiction (locality with fewer than 50,000 people). 
USCIS determined which entities were small by using the definitions 
supplied by the Small Business Administration. The size of the 
companies was determined by using the ReferenceUSA databases at http://www.referenceusa.com/.
 Below is a summary of the small entity analysis. 

A more detailed analysis is available in the rulemaking docket.
    Individuals rather than small entities submit the majority of 
immigration and naturalization benefit applications and petitions. 
Entities that would be affected by this proposed rule are those that 
file and pay the fees for certain immigration benefit applications on 
behalf of an alien. These applications include the Form I-129, Petition 
for a Nonimmigrant Worker, and the Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for 
Alien Worker. USCIS conducted a statistically valid sample analysis of 
applicants of these form types to determine if this proposed rule has 
an economically significant impact on a substantial number of small 
entities.
    Out of the 439,000 applications filed in FY 2005 for these form 
types, USCIS first identified the minimum sample size that was large 
enough to achieve a 95% confidence level. This sample size was 
identified as 383 (out of a total of 149,658 unique entities that filed 
applications in FY 2005). USCIS then randomly selected 653 entities, of 
which 561, or 86% were classified as small entities. Therefore, USCIS 
determined that a substantial number of small entities are impacted by 
this proposed rule.

[[Page 4913]]

    USCIS then analyzed the economic impact on small entities of this 
proposed rule by (1) Identifying the number of applications filed by 
the small entities having sales revenue data identified by the random 
sample; and (2) multiplying the number of applications by the fee 
increase associated with the applicable form types in order to estimate 
the increased annual burden imposed by this rulemaking. Once USCIS 
determined the additional cost of this rulemaking on the randomly 
selected small entities, USCIS divided this total increased cost by the 
annual sales revenue of the entity. By comparing the cost increases 
imposed by this rulemaking with the sales revenue of the impacted small 
entities, we are able to understand the economic impact of this 
proposed rule on the individual small entities we have sampled. Using 
the ReferenceUSA database of business information, USCIS was able to 
identify annual sales revenue estimates for 273 of the 561 small 
entities previously sampled. Of the 273 small entities, 213 or about 
78% of the small entities exhibited an impact of less than 0.1% of 
sales revenue, and all of the small entities sampled exhibited an 
impact of less than 1% of total revenue. A simple (non-weighted) 
average of the 273 small entities equated to an overall impact of only 
0.06% of sales revenue. Therefore, USCIS believes that a substantial 
number of small entities are not significantly impacted economically by 
this proposed rule.
    In summary, although the analysis shows that this rulemaking would 
affect a substantial number of small entities, the economic impact of 
this proposed rule was found to be negligible. This proposed rule has 
been reviewed in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 605(b), and the Department of 
Homeland Security certifies that this proposed rule will not have a 
significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

B. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995

    The Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (UMRA) requires certain 
actions to be taken before an agency promulgates any notice of proposed 
rulemaking ``that is likely to result in promulgation of any rule that 
includes any Federal mandate that may result in the expenditure by 
State, local and tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the 
private sector, of $100,000,000 or more (adjusted annually for 
inflation) in any 1 year.'' 2 U.S.C. 1532(a). While this proposed rule, 
if finally promulgated, may result in the expenditure of more than $100 
million by the private sector annually, the rulemaking is not a 
``Federal mandate'' as defined for UMRA purposes, 2 U.S.C. 658(6), as 
the payment of application and petition fees by individuals or other 
private sector entities is, to the extent it could be termed an 
enforceable duty, one that arises from participation in a voluntary 
Federal program, applying for immigration status in the United States. 
2 U.S.C. 658(7)(A)(ii). Therefore, no actions were deemed necessary 
under the provisions of the UMRA.

C. Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996

    This rulemaking is a major rule as defined by section 804 of the 
Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Act of 1996. This rulemaking will 
result in an annual effect on the economy of more than $100 million, in 
order to generate the revenue necessary to fully fund the increased 
cost associated with the processing of immigration benefit applications 
and associated support benefits; the full cost of providing similar 
benefits to asylum and refugee applicants; and the full cost of similar 
benefits provided to other immigrants, as specified in the regulation, 
at no charge. The increased costs will be recovered through the fees 
charged for various immigration benefit applications.

D. Executive Order 12866

    This proposed rule is considered by the Department of Homeland 
Security to be an economically significant regulatory action under 
Executive Order 12866, section 3(f), Regulatory Planning and Review. 
The implementation of this proposed rule would provide USCIS with an 
additional $1.081 billion in FY 2008 and FY 2009 in annual fee revenue, 
based on a projected annual fee-paying volume of 4.742 million 
applications/petitions and 2.196 million requests for biometric 
services, over the fee revenue that would be collected under the 
current fee structure. This increase in revenue will be used pursuant 
to subsections 286(m) and (n) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1356(m) and (n), to 
fund the full costs of processing immigration benefit applications and 
associated support benefits; the full cost of providing similar 
benefits to asylum and refugee applicants; and the full cost of similar 
benefits provided to other immigrants at no charge. If USCIS does not 
adjust the current fees to recover the full costs of processing 
immigration benefit applications, USCIS would be forced to enact 
significant spending reductions resulting in a reversal of the 
considerable progress it has made over the last several years to reduce 
the backlog of immigration benefit applications and petitions to 
increase the integrity of the immigration benefit system and to protect 
national security and public safety. The revenue increase is based on 
USCIS costs and projected volumes that were available at the time the 
proposed rule was drafted. USCIS has placed in the rulemaking docket a 
detailed analysis that explains the basis for the annual fee increase. 
Accordingly, this proposed rule has been reviewed by the Office of 
Management and Budget.

E. Executive Order 13132

    This rulemaking will not have substantial direct effects on the 
States, on the relationship between the National Government and the 
States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the 
various levels of government. Therefore, in accordance with section 6 
of Executive Order 13132, the Department of Homeland Security has 
determined that this rulemaking does not have sufficient Federalism 
implications to warrant the preparation of a federalism summary impact 
statement.

F. Executive Order 12988

    This proposed rule meets the applicable standards set forth in 
sections 3(a) and 3(b)(2) of Executive Order 12988.

G. 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 rule. This rulemaking does not propose to impose any new 
reporting or recordkeeping requirements under the Paperwork Reduction 
Act.
    The changes to the fees will require changes to the application/
petition form types to reflect the new fees. USCIS will submit a 
notification to OMB with respect to any such changes. In addition, this 
proposed rule anticipates (but is not dependent on) consolidating the 
Form I-131 and Form I-765 into the Form I-485 so that applicants for 
adjustment of status will not be required to file three separate form 
types in order to apply for adjustment of status, advance parole and 
employment authorization. This change will reduce paperwork burdens on 
these applicants.

List of Subjects in 8 CFR Part 103

    Administrative practice and procedures, Authority delegations 
(government agencies), Freedom of Information, Privacy, Reporting and

[[Page 4914]]

recordkeeping requirements, Surety bonds.

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

PART 103--POWERS AND DUTIES; AVAILABILITY OF RECORDS

    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.

    2. Section 103.7 is amended by:
    a. Removing the entry for the Form I-914 in paragraph (b)(1);
    b. Revising the entries for the following forms in paragraph 
(b)(1);
    c. Removing the fifth and sixth sentences in paragraph (c)(1); and 
by
    d. Adding a new paragraph (c)(5).
    The revision and addition read as follows:


Sec.  103.7  Fees.

* * * * *
    (b) * * *
    (1) * * *
* * * * *
    For capturing biometric information. 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.
* * * * *
    Form I-90. For filing an application for a Permanent Resident Card 
(Form I-551) in lieu of an obsolete card or in lieu of one lost, 
mutilated, or destroyed, or for a change in name--$290.
* * * * *
    Form I-102. For filing a petition for an application (Form I-102) 
for Arrival/Departure Record (Form I-94) or Crewman's Landing (Form I-
95), in lieu of one lost, mutilated, or destroyed--$320.
    Form I-129. For filing a petition for a nonimmigrant worker--$320.
    Form I-129F. For filing a petition to classify a nonimmigrant as a 
fianc[eacute]e or fianc[eacute] under section 214(d) of the Act--$455; 
no fee for a K-3 spouse as designated in section 214.1(a)(2) of this 
chapter who is the beneficiary of an immigrant petition filed by a U.S. 
citizen on Form I-130.
    Form I-130. For filing a petition to classify status of an alien 
relative for issuance of an immigrant visa under section 204(a) of the 
Act--$355.
    Form I-131. For filing an application for travel documents--$305.
    Form I-140. For filing a petition to classify preference status of 
an alien on the basis of profession or occupation under section 204(a) 
of the Act--$475.
    Form I-191. For filing an application for discretionary relief 
under section 212(c) of the Act--$545.
    Form I-192. For filing an application for discretionary relief 
under section 212(d)(3) of the Act, except in an emergency case, or 
where the approval of the application is in the interest of the United 
States Government--$545.
    Form I-193. For filing an application for waiver of passport and/or 
visa--$545.
    Form I-212. For filing an application for permission to reapply for 
an excluded, deported or removed alien, an alien who has fallen into 
distress, an alien who has been removed as an alien enemy, or an alien 
who has been removed at government expense in lieu of deportation--
$545.
* * * * *
    Form I-290B. For filing an appeal from any decision under the 
immigration laws in any type of proceeding over which the Board of 
Immigration Appeals does not have appellate jurisdiction--$585 (the fee 
will be the same when an appeal is taken from the denial of a petition 
with one or multiple beneficiaries, provided that they are all covered 
by the same petition, and therefore, the same decision).
    Form I-360. For filing a petition for an Amerasian, Widow(er), or 
Special Immigrant--$375, except there is no fee for a petition seeking 
classification as an Amerasian or as a self-petitioning battered or 
abused spouse, parent, or child of a U.S. citizen or Lawful Permanent 
Resident.
    Form I-485. For filing an application for permanent resident status 
or creation of a record of lawful permanent residence--$905 for an 
applicant 14 years of age or older; $805 for an applicant under the age 
of 14 years; no fee for an applicant filing as a refugee under section 
209(a) of the Act. No additional fee will be charged for a request for 
travel document (advance parole) or employment authorization by an 
applicant who has paid the Form I-485 application fee, regardless 
whether or not the Form I-131 or Form I-765 is required to be filed by 
such applicant to receive these benefits.
* * * * *
    Form I-526. For filing a petition for an alien entrepreneur--
$1,435.
    Form I-539. For filing an application to extend or change 
nonimmigrant status--$300.
* * * * *
    Form I-600. For filing a petition to classify an orphan as an 
immediate relative for issuance of an immigrant visa under section 
204(a) of the Act. (When more than one petition is submitted by the 
same petitioner on behalf of orphans who are brothers or sisters, only 
one fee will be required.)--$670.
    Form I-600A. For filing an application for advance processing of 
orphan petition. (When more than one petition is submitted by the same 
petitioner on behalf of orphans who are brothers or sisters, only one 
fee will be required.)--$670.
    Form I-601. For filing an application for waiver of ground of 
inadmissibility under section 212(h) or (i) of the Act. (Only a single 
application and fee shall be required when the alien is applying 
simultaneously for a waiver under both those subsections.)--$545.
    Form I-612. For filing an application for waiver of the foreign-
residence requirement under section 212(e) of the Act--$545.
    Form I-687. For filing an application for status as a temporary 
resident under section 245A (a) of the Act. A fee of $710 for each 
application or $570 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 $1,990.
    Form I-690. For filing an application for waiver of a ground of 
inadmissibility under section 212(a) of the Act as amended, in 
conjunction with the application under sections 210 or 245A of the Act, 
or a petition under section 210A of the Act--$185.
    Form I-694. For appealing the denial of an application under 
sections 210 or 245A of the Act, or a petition under section 210A of 
the Act--$545.
    Form I-695. For filing an application for replacement of temporary 
resident card (Form I-688)--$130.
    Form I-698. For filing an application for adjustment from temporary 
resident status to that of lawful permanent resident under section 
245A(b)(1) of the Act. For applicants filing within 31 months from the 
date of adjustment to temporary resident status, a fee of $1,370 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

[[Page 4915]]

years of age living at home)) shall be $4,110. For applicants filing 
after thirty-one months from the date of approval of temporary resident 
status, who file their applications on or after July 9, 1991, a fee of 
$1,410 (a maximum of $4,230 per family) is required. The adjustment 
date is the date of filing of the application for permanent residence 
or the applicant's eligibility date, whichever is later.
* * * * *
    Form I-751. For filing a petition to remove the conditions on 
residence, based on marriage--$465.
    Form I-765. For filing an application for employment authorization 
pursuant to 8 CFR 274a.13--$340.
* * * * *
    Form I-817. For filing an application for voluntary departure under 
the Family Unity Program--$440.
* * * * *
    Form I-824. For filing for action on an approved application or 
petition--$340.
    Form I-829. For filing a petition by entrepreneur to remove 
conditions--$2,850.
* * * * *
    Form N-300. For filing an application for declaration of 
intention--$235.
    Form N-336. For filing a request for hearing on a decision in 
naturalization proceedings under section 336 of the Act--$605.
    Form N-400. For filing an application for naturalization (other 
than such application filed on or after October 1, 2004, by an 
applicant who meets the requirements of sections 328 or 329 of the Act 
with respect to military service, for which no fee is charged)--$595.
* * * * *
    Form N-470. For filing an application for benefits under section 
316(b) or 317 of the Act--$305.
    Form N-565. For filing an application for a certificate of 
naturalization or declaration of intention in lieu of a certificate or 
declaration alleged to have been lost, mutilated, or destroyed; for a 
certificate of citizenship in a changed name under section 343(c) of 
the Act; or for a special certificate of naturalization to obtain 
recognition as a citizen of the United States by a foreign state under 
section 343(b) of the Act--$380.
    Form N-600. For filing an application for a certificate of 
citizenship under section 309(c) or section 341 of the Act--$460, for 
applications filed on behalf of a biological child and $420 for 
applications filed on behalf of an adopted child.
    Form N-600K. For filing an application for citizenship and issuance 
of certificate under section 322 of the Act--$460, for an application 
filed on behalf of a biological child and $420 for an application filed 
on behalf of an adopted child.
* * * * *
    Motion. For filing a motion to reopen or reconsider any decision 
under the immigration laws in any type of proceeding over which the 
Executive Office for Immigration Review does not have jurisdiction. No 
fee shall be charged for a motion to reopen or reconsider a decision on 
an application for relief for which no fee is chargeable or for any 
motion to reopen or reconsider made concurrently with any initial 
application for relief under the immigration laws for which no fee is 
chargeable. (The fee of $585 shall be charged whenever an appeal or 
motion is filed by or on behalf of two or more aliens and all such 
aliens are covered by one decision. When a motion to reopen or 
reconsider is made concurrently with any application for relief under 
the immigration laws for which a fee is chargeable, the motion is filed 
and, if the motion is granted, the requisite fee for filing the 
application for relief will be charged and must be paid within the time 
specified in order to complete the application.)--$585.
* * * * *
    (c) * * *
    (5) Except as otherwise specifically provided by this paragraph and 
by paragraphs (c)(2) and (c)(4) of this section, no fee relating to any 
application, petition, appeal, motion or request made to U.S. 
Citizenship and Immigration Services may be waived under this section 
except for the following: Form I-90; Form I-751; Form I-765; Form I-
817; Form N-300; Form N-336; Form N-400; Form N-470; Form N-565; Form 
N-600; Form N-600K; and Form I-290B and motions filed with U.S. 
Citizenship and Immigration Services relating to the specified forms in 
this paragraph (c)(5).
* * * * *

    Dated: January 26, 2007.
Michael Chertoff,
Secretary.
[FR Doc. E7-1631 Filed 1-31-07; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4410-10-P




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