Friday, October 1, 2010

USCIS Raises Immigration Filing Fees Soon!

On November 23, 2010 U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services, (USCIS) will adjust its fees for immigration applications and petitions. All filings which require a fee that are postmarked with a date of November 23, 2010 or later will require the new fee. Overall the fees will increase by roughly 10%. However six application fees will decrease and the Nationalization application fee will remain the same. There will also be an expansion of the availability of fee waivers for certain application and petitions.

USICS is a fee based organization. More than 90% of its budget comes from the fees paid by applicants and petitioners who apply for immigration benefits. That being said, it is hard to believe that the current fees imposed by USICS are not sufficient to fulfill their budgetary needs. For example it costs a permanent resident $675 ($595 plus a biometrics fee of $80) to apply for naturalization.

There are thousands of foreign nationals who simply can not afford the current fees for immigration benefits. The reduction in six of USCIS’s applications and the expansion of additional fee waivers help only a select few. However the majority of application and petition fees are already too costly and the rise in fees will only increase the difficulty of foreign nationals obtaining immigration benefits.