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The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recently published a proposed rule on the Federal Register highlighting the new filing fees U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) would require applicants to pay when submitting certain types of immigration applications. The proposal states that after USCIS “conducted a comprehensive biennial fee review,” it was determined that “current fees do not recover the full costs of providing adjudication and naturalization services.”

The proposal went on to explain that aside from seeing an increase in fees, DHS would also “add new fees for certain benefit requests, establish multiple fees for petitions for nonimmigrant workers, and limit the number of beneficiaries on certain forms to ensure that USCIS has the resources it needs to provide adequate service to applicants and petitioners.” The new fee schedule that would be implemented is “necessary to recover the full operating costs associated with administering the nation’s immigration benefits system, safeguarding its integrity, and efficiently and fairly adjudicating immigration benefit requests, while protecting Americans, securing the homeland, and honoring our country’s values,” states the proposed rule.

So, how much will the fees increase?

It all depends on the type of application that is being submitted. While the proposed rule does have quite a few petitions listed on it that would be affected, we have outlined for you below what the new fees would be for some of the more common applications that are filed.

  • Form N-400, Application for Naturalization- Current fee is $640, new rule would raise it to $1,170.
  • Form I-881, Application for Suspension of Deportation or Special Rule Cancellation of Removal – Current fee is $285, new rule would raise it to $1,800.
  • Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization- Current fee is $410, new rule would raise it to $490.
  • DACA renews would increase from $495 to $765.
  • The Dallas News also says that for the first time, the U.S. would subject individuals to paying a fee for asylum applications, which would cost $50.

Although DHS has explained why it wants to impose an increase on the current fees being charged for certain types of applications, advocates believe the higher fees are meant to limit individuals from applying for U.S. citizen or to obtain certain documents needed for them to live and work in the U.S. According to one advocate, Angelica Salas, who is the executive director of the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights, she views the proposal as “a targeted and brazen attack especially on those who are poor and vulnerable” because it seeks to price out immigrants “of their rightful place in our communities and in America” [Source: NBC News].

The proposal is currently open to commentary until December 16, 2019, and “USCIS is legally obligated to consider comments before the new rule can take effect, according to the National Partnership for New Americans, or NPNA, a network of immigrant advocacy organizations.”

If you’re considering submitting a petition to USCIS, now would be a good time to contact one of our Atlanta, GA immigration attorneys.

Although the proposed rule hasn’t taken effect, it very well could and if you want to avoid having to pay any more than what USCIS is currently charging for its forms, now would be a good time to get yours filed. Filing a petition/application isn’t exactly an easy process as USCIS requires applicants to follow various steps and directions, and they need to know what information they are required to submit in order for their application to be complete.

Unfortunately, the wording on some of these documents can be confusing, which puts you at risk of making a mistake that could land your petition in the denial pile and you having to pay the filing fee again. So, rather than risk making a mistake on your application or having to pay the higher fees DHS proposed to be implemented, why not let one of our skilled Atlanta, GA immigration lawyers help you get your application filed with USCIC now.

What types of petitions can Kuck | Baxter Immigration Partners LLC help me with?

Our Atlanta-based immigration law firm can help you and/or your family members file various types of forms with USCIS including, but not limited to:

  • Applications for citizenship
  • Renew forms for visas and green cards
  • Employment visa applications
  • Green card applications
  • Adjustment of status forms

If you live in Atlanta, GA and are needing to submit an application with USCIS or have already begun to fill out one or more of your forms, Kuck | Baxter Immigration Partners LLC is here to help you complete your application and submit it. In the event you have an immigration-related question or aren’t sure if you qualify to file the type of petition you are considering submitting, our attorneys are here to provide you with the clarification you are looking for.

Kuck | Baxter Immigration Partners LLC can be reached at:

365 Northridge Road, Suite 300

Atlanta, GA 30350

Phone: 404-816-8611