United States, 27thDecember: US Federal government agency has announced US immigration fee hike in benefit application and petition.
The fee hike has become effective from 23rd December, 2016.
US increases US immigration benefit application and petition fees—USCIS(US Citizenship and Immigration Services) has announced that from 23rd December, 47 applications and petitions will have a hike.
USCIS has increased immigration benefit application fee while reduced the naturalization fee for low-income naturalization applicants.
Details of the US immigration fee hike—
- Application fee for replacing US permanent resident cards shall go up to $455 from $365.
- Application for naturalization Form N-400 shall go up to $640 from $595.
- Petitions for non-immigrant workers will increase to $460 from $325.
- Applications for certificate of citizenship shall increase to $1,170 from $600/$550.
- I130 (Petition for alien relative) fee shall be $535 from the earlier $420.
- I29F(Petition for alien fiancée) fee shall now be $535 from $340.
- I751(Petition to remove conditions on residence) fee shall be $595 from the earlier $505.
First price increase in six years–It has been first price increase by the USCIS in the six years. Director of the USCIS, Leon Rodriguez, said that the agency is quite mindful of the impact of the fee hike on its several customers.
Applications filed on or after 23rd December not showing the price increase shall be rejected, the statement by the USCIS revealed. The agency needs to cover all costs associated with national security, fraud detection, customer service, case processing, providing services without charge to refugee and asylum applicants and to others eligible for fee waivers/exemptions, the statement further maintained.
The new fee structure was proposed on 4th May, 2016 and adopted as final on 24th October, 2016.
No 14-day grace period from 23rd December–No applicant shall get a 14-day grace period from 23rd December, 2016 to correct any failed fee payment. Any request for nonpayment shall be rejected by the USCIS.
The agency said that any benefit requests without correct biometric services fees shall not be held. One must pay biometric services fees(if applicable), at the time of filing. Any benefit request not accompanied by the correct biometric services fee shall be rejected.
Reduced fee for low-income naturalization applicants— Increase in fee structure shall make it difficult for not-so-rich non-Americans to get US citizenship, many immigration experts allege.
Hence, the USCIS has reduced the fee for low-income naturalization applicants not qualifying for a fee waiver. The agency said that a reduced filing fee for certain naturalization applicants with low means has been announced.