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USCIS to Increase Filing Fees

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USCIS to Increase Filing Fees

On November 8, 2019, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued a press release indicating that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) would be publishing a proposed rule increasing many of the fees associated with its cases. Included in the proposed fee increases is a fee for asylum applications. This would be the first time that the United States would charge asylum seekers. Only three countries worldwide currently charge a fee for asylum applications: Australia, Fiji, and Iran.

An advance copy of the proposed fee changes has been made available to the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA). DHS shall be increasing fees by an average of 21 percent, add new fees, and make other changes, including the introduction of several new forms. There are significant increases in the filing fees for various citizenship applications, upwards 389%. Various waivers of inadmissibility will be increased hundreds of dollars. Immigrants returning back to the United States without their visa or missing documentation may be charged over $2,200 upon return. U Visa holders who seek to petition to add their family members shall now be charged $1,285.

"USCIS is required to examine incoming and outgoing expenditures, just like a business, and make adjustments based on that analysis," said Ken Cuccinelli, Acting Director of USCIS. "This proposed adjustment in fees would ensure more applicants cover the true cost of their applications and minimizes subsidies from an already over-extended system."

DHS plans on publishing the proposed fees in the Federal Register on Thursday, November 14, 2019, and comments will be due 30 days after publication. It is still yet unknown when the new increased fees will go into effect. USCIS filing fees were last increased on December 23, 2016.

Are you or a loved one planning on filing a case with USCIS before fees increase? Contact Ibrahim Law Office, an immigration law firm, to schedule your consultation today.  

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