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The U.S. announces an increase in some immigration filing fees

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USCIS Increases Immigration Fees, USA, migrants
Some immigration fees will increase (Photo: The Associated Press)
  • USCIS announces some immigration filing fees will increase.
  • They have been criticized for backlogs.
  • There will be discounts for vulnerable groups.

The bad news for migrants doesn’t seem to end. Now the U.S. government has announced that some immigration filling fees will increase.

On Tuesday the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced the implementation of a rule that increases the fees for some applications.

They say the goal is to streamline processes and improve efficiency, according to their official statement.

The agency, whose financing depends 96% on immigration fees, has faced criticism and a growing workload due to processing delays.

Bad news for some migrants

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PHOTO: Shutterstock

The difficulties arising from this situation has generated concern among the migrant community and its defenders.

The USCIS stated that, after a thorough review, it has determined that the current rates do not adequately cover the full cost of its operations.

«For the first time in over seven years, USCIS is updating our fees to better meet the needs of our agency, enabling us to provide more timely decisions to those we serve,» USCIS Director Ur M. Jaddou stated.

“Despite years of inadequate funding, the USCIS workforce has made great strides in customer service,” he continued.

Some immigration filing fees will increase

USCIS, Fees, immigration procedures, border, MundoNOW
PHOTO: Shutterstock

This cost includes the expansion of humanitarian programs, the hiring of new staff and mandatory salary increases.

The largest increases related to foreign workers, such registration fees for H-1B visa, which will go from $10 to $215 in March 2025.

An application for permanent residence will increase from $1,140 to $1,440.

Despite this across-the-board increase, the agency also announced the implementation of fee waivers and discounts for certain applicants.

Opinions are divided

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PHOTO: Shutterstock

Low-income victims of human trafficking and domestic violence, as well as U.S. military service members, may be eligible for fee waivers.

Additionally, those filing returns online will get a $50 discount and eligibility for reduced naturalization fees was expanded to low-income applicants.

The measure has generated controversy and divided opinions, according to the EFE agency.

While some argue that the fee increase is necessary to improve USCIS efficiency and ensure the agency’s financial sustainability, others see it as an additional obstacle.

Support for USCIS

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PHOTO: Shutterstock

Farshad Owji, president of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), spoke about the higher immigration filing fees.

He said in a statement that the current USCIS model does not allow the agency to have sustainable options and asked Congress to allocate a budget for them.

“While AILA applauds USCIS for its commitment to providing low-cost humanitarian assistance to certain applicants…» Owji began.

“The rate increases are significant and create a huge burden.”

Who will be the most affected?

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PHOTO: The Associated Press

The immigration lawyer and advisor to the Association of Salvadorans of Los Angeles (ASOSAL) said that what worries his clients most is the delay in the processing of their cases.

«If these increases are really going to reduce times, they are justified, even if it represents a blow to the pockets of many,» said ASOSAL.

The lawyer elaborated, saying the costs for certain processes that require several years have been lowered, according to infobae.

USCIS also announced changes to the selection process for H-1B visas for specialized workers, with an aim to combat fraud.

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