The Trump Administration executed a substantial increase in the money immigrants must pay for the fees and applications included in the process that allows them to live and work in America.
The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services announced the new fee structure after nine months of reviewing the programs that fall under the company’s jurisdiction. The additional fees for asylum seekers, naturalization applications, and immigrants seeking adjustment of status become effective in October 2020.
The announcement comes on the heels of a major budget shortfall and possible furloughs for the agency. The agency requested and received $1.2 billion in emergency money from the U.S. Congress to survive recent hard times. The majority of the operating expenses for the USCIS are paid with the fees collected by the agency.
A spokesperson for the USCIS says the latest fee increase is unrelated to the budget shortfall. The spokesperson added the search for ways to add to revenue to agency coffers began some time ago.
The USCIS deputy director says the fee increase is overdue. The director says the extra money is needed so that the agency can continue to deliver fair and efficient immigration services that protect Americans and secure the nation.
The USCIS is under the jurisdiction of the Department of Homeland Security and has garnered a lot of attention of late from people concerned with immigrant rights. The actions of Deputy Secretary Ken Cuccinelli is the focal point for much of this attention. Cuccinelli acted as the point man for a Trump Administration strategy to transform the organization from an agency concerned with immigrants benefits to one whose purpose is vetting the individuals from other countries who want to live and work in America.
Immigrations laws in America can be complex and are in a state of constant change. Individuals with questions regarding their status as immigrants in the country might find it useful to speak to an experienced immigration attorney.