The Department of Homeland Security announced on Friday, July 31 that US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will increase its fees by an average of 20% starting on October 2, 2020. USCIS cites the fact that it is 97% fee funded and as such, must increase its fees in order to “recover its costs of services.”
The need for an increase of fees according to USCIS is due in part to its increase in costs to adjudicate immmigration benefit requests, detect and deter immigration fraud, and thoroughly vet applicants, petitioners and beneficiaries. USCIS both increased some of its fees and added additional fees for certain services provided by the agency. Some of the services provided by USCIS that will have increased fees starting on October 2 are: many I-129, I-130 and I-131, I-192 and I-193, I-212, I-290B, I-360, I-485, I-526, I-539, I-600 and I-601, I-690, I-751, I-765, I-800 and I800A, I-824, I-829, I-881, I-924A, I-929, N-300, N-336, N-400, N-470, and G-1041 services.
Some of the highest fee increases USCIS are implementing includes a 377% increase in the I-193 Application for Waiver of Passport and/or Visa fee, a 535% increase in the I-881 Application for Suspension of Deportation or Special Rule Cancellation of Removal fee, and a 546% increase in the I-929 Petition for Qualifying Family Member of a U-1 NonImmigrant fee. Other notable increases in fees are for those hoping to naturalize that must file an application for naturalization; originally filing an application for naturalization online was $640, but with the new rule the fee will increase to $1,160. Additionally, USCIS will now charge asylum seekers a $50 fee to file for asylum.
With these new changes, USCIS is hoping to avoid future budget shortcomings, like the ones it is facing now.
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