The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced on their Twitter account the drastic increase in fees for dozens of immigration applications and work visas.
The changes include an increase of more than 80% in naturalization applications and the imposition of a fee for asylum seekers, a process that previously was not charged.
The federal agency detailed in a memorandum the update of its rates after a review of almost nine months, in order to ensure that they can cover the costs of its operations.
The naturalization form went from $ 640 to $ 1,160. That fee lowers the total cost to process the application, the agency said, plus a proportional part of the overall costs, a change from the previous policy.
There will also be a $ 50 fee for asylum seekers. Thus, the United States joins Australia, Fiji and Iran in the list of countries that charge the process, unlike other nations that choose the free procedure.
The new rates take effect on October 2.
The announcement comes after the federal agency reiterated to Congress that it faces a significant budget deficit and that this would lead to the suspension of 70% of its workforce from failing to raise $ 1.2 billion in emergency funds.
USCIS, which closed its offices at home and abroad due to the COVID-19 pandemic, is largely funded by immigration fees.
However, the new rates, which are evaluated by law every two years, are not related to the current budget deficit, since the agency had already reported losses before the health crisis.
Beginning June 4, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service reopens its offices to carry out immigration procedures. Details in the video. To see more of Telemundo, visit now.telemundo.com
“These overdue rate adjustments are necessary to efficiently and fairly administer our nation’s immigration legal system, protect the homeland and Americans,” Joseph Edlow, deputy director of policy for the USCIS, said in a statement.
It also includes the elimination of a proposed $ 275 renewal fee for DACA recipients.
Earlier this week, the President Trump administration announced that it will not accept new applications for the program that protects certain undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children from deportation. And, the administration said it will limit renewals to one year instead of two while reviewing the program.
There are no changes to DACA rates for employment authorization and biometric services.