Not yet. However, a recent proposal from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services would result in increased fees for multiple types of green card applications. The proposal was opened up for public comments in March, and though many commenters were concerned about or unhappy with the suggested fee changes there has not been any indication that the USCIS has ruled out these increases. If you are trying to help a loved one secure a green card of their own, this can be a confusing time. A family immigration attorney in New York City can help you navigate the legal process even as rules and regulations change.
What Were the New Proposed Fees for Green Card Applications?
There were a few major fee increases proposed by the USCIS. One was for United States citizens and permanent residents who want to sponsor a family member for a permanent residency. The cost of this green card application could rise by more than 30 percent, increasing to $710.
The fees for marriage-based green card applications are also set to rise under these new proposed rules. Currently, this type of application costs $1,760. The new fee would be over $3,600.
This would also affect United States citizens who are trying to bring their fiancés into the country. Instead of being charged a fee of $525, they may have to pay as much as $720.
Employment visas would also get more expensive under the USCIS proposal. H-2A and H2-B visas that currently carry a fee of $460 would end up costing more than $1,000. Employers who want to sponsor an immigrant worker would also face a new $600 fee.
Why Are They Proposing Increased Fees for Green Card Applications?
The increased fees are being proposed because the USCIS is attempting to make up for a funding shortfall. Unlike many other government agencies, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services does not receive most of its operating budget from Congress. Instead, it relies on filing fees for around 96 percent of its total funding.
A drop in applications during the COVID pandemic left this agency with some major budget issues to address. The new fees could help its employees deal with a backlog of cases or properly investigate marriage and family relationships. New and increased fees would also help fund things like the USCIS asylum program.
Contact a Family Immigration Attorney
These rules have not been finalized and there has been pushback from the public and politicians alike, but the cost of emigrating to the United States could still end up increasing. You should have a skilled family immigration attorney on your side, one that can help you navigate changing rules and cut through the bureaucratic red tape.
Contact the Law Office of Cheryl R. David in New York and speak to a knowledgeable immigration attorney today. We can help you make sense of the latest changes in immigration laws, rules, and regulations.