The Trump administration is proposing increased immigration fees including raise the cost of applying for U.S. citizenship, as well as creating new fees for some immigration applications. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published a proposed new set of fees on November 8, and the plan will be open to public comment for 30 days starting November 14, the day it is scheduled to be published on the Federal Register.
The proposed increased immigration fees include:
• Recipients of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) would pay $765, rather than $495, to renew their two-year legal permits.
• Some asylum seekers who apply for protection with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) would be asked to pay $50 to apply for asylum. This is the 1st time asylum-seekers would be asked to pay a fee and would make the U.S. one of the few countries to charge a fee for humanitarian protections.
• Immigrant green card holders who want to become citizens would pay increased citizenship fees of $1,170 rather than the current $640 application fee, an increase of over 60%.
• Immigrants with temporary protected status’ fee to work legally in the U.S. would increase to $490 from $410.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Melissa Rodgers, director of programs for the Immigrant Legal Resource Center, said the proposed fees would likely price out many people who could have otherwise become citizens:
“This is a wealth tax on becoming a U.S. citizen. It’s part and parcel of the assault on the naturalization process.”
The proposal also eliminates fee waivers for financial hardship which allows immigration applicants with incomes under the federal poverty line to apply for USCIS services at no charge, and would instead require them to pay the increased immigration fees and any costs associated with citizenship applications and renewing a green card or work permit.
Immigration law can be confusing, and it changes frequently. It is important to have legal guidance from a knowledgeable attorney. The immigration attorneys at Godoy Law Office in Chicago and Lombard can help you with your immigration case. If you need help with an immigration issue, please contact our office or call us at 855-554-6369.