The Donald Trump administration has implemented an 80% increase in naturalization application fees among other hikes introduced for many work and US immigration applications. A first-time fee has also been introduced for asylum applicants.
It’s now, after a close to 9 months of review, that US Citizenship and Immigration Services has finalized its fee structure after an update. The cost of online naturalization has been increased from $640 to $1,160. This will represent the full cost of processing the application and will cover a share of overhead costs. This shows a shift from the policy previously followed.
The new fee for asylum seekers will be $50, which will be in effect from October 2, 2020. The US will now be joining countries that impose such fees on asylum seekers. The other countries that do so are Iran, Fiji, and Australia.
As USCIS had to close its offices and suspend services due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it had to face a huge loss in budget shortfall and imminent furloughs. It had to request for a $1.2 billion in emergency funds from Congress. USCIS faced such a crunch because most of its funding comes from fee collection. However, that’s not the reason the US has introduced a fee for asylum seekers.
Making hard-line policies in USA immigration has been characteristic of the US government lately. USCIS has been at the center of all the actions that followed such policies. Notable instances are the public charge rule which has kicked up a controversy. It was blocked by a court too.
USCIS oversees the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) program. USCIS had removed a proposed $275 renewal fee for DACA recipients.
USCIS has decreased its proposed genealogy fees.
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