Recently, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) proposed an increased fee for green card applications. Read on to discover what this raised fee means for United States citizens and permanent residents seeking to sponsor their family members for permanent residency and how a seasoned green card lawyer in Milwaukee, WI, at Sesini Law Group, S.C., can help you navigate this.
What is the proposed increased fee for green card applications?
For one, the green card is an application that United States citizens and permanent residents can petition for if they wish to sponsor a family member for permanent residency. The filing fee for this visa may experience a 33 percent increase to $710.
And as far as marriage-based green card applications go, the filing fee may double from $1,760 to $3,640 or more. And applications for bringing a fiancé to the United States may increase from $535 to $720.
What’s more, the filing fee for a child who is adjusting their status with a parent may raise to $790. This essentially mimics the cost of an adult application. And for a family with multiple children, these extra expenses can quickly add up.
What is the proposed increased fee for work authorization applications?
In addition to family-based green card applications, the USCIS is proposing that fees for work authorization applications be raised. Namely, these work visas allow non-citizens to temporarily retain work in the United States.
Under this new proposal, the fee for an H-2A visa application (i.e., temporary agricultural workers) will increase from $460 to $1,080. And similarly, the cost of an H-2B visa (i.e., temporary non-agricultural workers) will grow from $460 to $1,090.
Why was an increased price proposed?
The USCIS is stating that increasing fees for green card applications are necessary for the following reasons:
- The USCIS needs additional financial aid to recover operational costs.
- The USCIS needs additional financial aid to speed up application reviews.
- The USCIS needs additional financial aid to hire more staff.
- The USCIS needs additional financial aid to reduce the agency’s backlog of pending cases.
Overall, the USCIS has its funding heavily reliant on application fees. Namely, 96 percent of their funding comes from this, as they do not use congressional funds. And so, the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly decreased the number of applications being filed. This, at one point, dropped the USCIS’ revenue by 40 percent.
With all that being said, we understand just how frustrating this news may be to hear. Just like many others, this may be an additional financial burden or barrier in your application process that you are struggling to overcome. And so, if you are unsure what your resolution to this can be, you must not hesitate in speaking with a competent family immigration lawyer in Milwaukee, WI. We await your phone call.