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Most immigration procedures will be more expensive, according to a proposal from USCIS

Tu Prensa Local

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, or USCIS, has proposed an increase in the fees for several of its immigration procedures, which could add $25 to $900 more depending on the type of procedure.

According to the statement on the agency's official website, the proposal to increase the cost of fees is due to several factors, including the need to "more fully recover its operating costs, restore and maintain timely processing of cases, and avoid future delays in processing cases.”

USCIS defended the proposal, saying it gets about 96% of its funding from immigration processing fees, not congressional appropriations. Fees, they said, have not risen since 2016, however the agency's operating costs have, making it unable to "recoup the full cost of the agency's operations." 

Additionally, in 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, USCIS said far fewer people filed or completed immigration paperwork, reducing their income by 40%. 

With the fee increases, USCIS said it could collect about $5.2 billion this fiscal year, compared to $3.28 billion without the fee increase. 

The proposal will take effect after a 60-day public comment period passes. USCIS will finalize the fee schedule in response to such comments. 

How much can immigration procedures increase in price according to the USCIS proposal?

These are some of the procedures that would increase according to the proposal. For a complete list click here

  • I-765 – Application for employment authorization: an increase is contemplated from $495 to $555 if the form is submitted online, and from $495 to $650 if it is submitted on paper.
  • I-130 – Alien Relative Petition:  if the process is done online it will go up from $535 to $710, and if the paper form is sent it will go from $535 to $820.
  • I-485 or Registration for Permanent Resident or Change of Status:  currently costs $1,225 including the biometric process and would rise to $1,540
  • N-400 – Application for Naturalization: online or on paper will go from $640 to $760
A Spanish language media outlet serving Suffolk County, New York.