The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recently announced a proposed fee increase affecting certain immigration and naturalization benefit requests. Noting the influx of immigration applications, humanitarian programs, the need for additional USCIS employees, and application delays, DHS considers the fee increase justified. With 96% of USCIS funding from filing fees, DHS asserts that new fees will enhance overall operations. The premium fees would yield nearly $1.32 billion more in revenue for USCIS. Considering the level of demand and the continued growth of immigration backlogs, USCIS believes it cannot provide adequate service without the proper resources.
The proposed service fee hike would have substantial implications for immigrant families seeking to navigate to the United States. At the Law Offices of James A. Welcome, we understand that these fee hikes would put unnecessary pressure on thousands of immigrants vying for lawful status in the United States. Enacting these fee increases right out of a pandemic and during a time when consumer prices continue to stay at record highs is the wrong move at this time. If you would like to submit feedback on the proposed fee increase, you can visit the Federal Register and leave a public comment by 3/13/2023. From there, DHS will review statements and publish a final rule with budget increases.
Some of the proposed fee increases would impact the following application types:
- Application for Citizenship and Naturalization
- Humanitarian Applications
- Family-Based Applications
- Employment-Based Applications
- Genealogy and Records
Below are examples of fee increases for common applications we handle
|Service Type||Current Fee||Proposed Fee||Percent Change|
|N-400 (Application for Naturalization)||$640.00||$760.00||19%|
|I-694 (Notice of Appeal of Decision)||$890.00||$1,155.00||30%|
|I-881 (Application for Suspension of Deportation Special Rule of Cancellation)||$285.00||$340.00||19%|
|I-130 (Petition for Alien Relative Online)||$535.00||$710.00||33%|
|I-130 (Petition for Alien Relative Paper)||$535.00||$820.00||53%|
|I-129F (Petition for Alien Fiance)||$535.00||$720.00||35%|
|I-601A (Application for Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver)||$630.00||$1,105.00||75%|
|I-741 (Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence)||$595.00||$1,195.00||101%|
|I-290B (Application to Notice of Appeal or Motion)||$676.00||$800.00||19%|
|I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status||$1,225.00||$1,540.00||26%|
|I-485 and I-765 with Biometric Services (Filed on Paper)||$1,225.00||$2,190.00||79%|
Our office opposes the proposed fee increases as it would shut out talented professionals and those seeking to gain status in the United States due to financial barriers. Will these fees increase end the continued delays in processing times, or is it the start of ever-changing fees? Such questions must be answered before any fee increase with real-life consequences goes into effect. Immigrants should not have to incur the budgetary woes of USCIS. We understand that fiscal concerns are beholding USCIS, but they should not be pushed onto immigrants already suffering financially from the pandemic.
If you or a loved one require trusted legal guidance, don’t hesitate to contact the Law Offices of James A. Welcome. For over 18 years, Attorney James A. Welcome has rigorously fought for the rights of his clients nationwide. As a New England Super Lawyer, Attorney Welcome has the competence to deliver justice on your behalf. Our trained and skilled attorneys and paralegals understand the challenges you may be facing. Many of our clients have fled persecution and conditions no individual should live through. U.S. immigration law supports the thousands of immigrants fleeing inhumane conditions in their home country. By seeking to navigate to the United States, you are one step closer to realizing your American dream. Consider calling our qualified Connecticut immigration team at (203) 753-7300 or chat with us on the web at welcomelawfirm.com. We’d be glad to assist you regarding your immigration matter.