The United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) planned to announce rate hikes for many of its popular immigration and naturalization services on Nov. 14. The cost to file for U.S. citizenship is one of the fees expected to increase the most. Early reports showed that it would increase by as much as 83% over what it has historically been. These increased rates are slated to go into effect on Dec. 2.
A spokesperson for the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), a federal agency that forms part of DHS, announced last week that the rates hike is far from spontaneous. The spokesperson noted that USCIS conducts fee reviews every two years to see if cost increases are warranted. USCIS does this to make sure that its budgetary obligations are met as their office is largely fee-funded.
USCIS's spokesperson notes that the government agency would fall $1.3 billion short in meeting its budgetary obligations if it weren't for instituting this first rate hike since the 2017 fiscal year.
Individuals seeking asylum in the U.S. have historically not had to pay to apply for such a status. The application fee for such a service will now be $50 though.
Anyone who applies for residency using a Form I-485 Application for Permanent Residence Registration or Adjustment of Status will see the current fees of $1,140 upgraded to $1,610. Anyone who submits a Form I-751 or Petition to Cancel Residence Conditions will be forced to pay a $760 fee to do so. This marks an increase of $165 over the previous rate.
Individuals requesting work permits using the I-765 form will be required to pay $490 instead of $410 as the rate currently stands.
U.S. citizenship application fees will increase from $640 up to $1,170 come Dec. 2. Filing fees for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), appeals and suspension of expulsion orders will also increase as part of this rate hike.
If you're considering applying for asylum, residency, citizenship or pursuing some type of deferred action or appeal in your case, then you should reach out to an attorney. Your New Orleans lawyer can advise you of the qualifications that you must meet to apply for permanent residency and advise you of the rates associated with doing so.