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USCIS Fee Increases
Jul 30 2007
Effective July 30, 2007
Still under fire, the USCIS is letting immigrants and visa holders foot the bill for agency improvements.
A new USCIS fee schedule goes into effect on July 30, 2007. Replacement documents will now require payment of over $300. Nonimmigrant worker petitions require a $325 fee. A fiance visa application is now $455, and adjustment of status runs between $600 and more than $1000.
Here you can view the full USCIS Immigration and Visa Fee Schedule Effective July 30, 2007.
Immigration attorneys, advocates and applicants are none too pleased. For one thing, prices have gone up steadily and substantially for the past decade and a half, despite continued long lines and backlog.
The USCIS and former INS have been increasingly under fire from politicians and the public alike for decades now. With many new mandates on their plate the agency has been forced to hire new people and otherwise incur many more expenses. Naturally an increase in fees is the easy way to remedy their overtaxed budget.
USCIS fees collected from applicants are what pay for the manpower needed to process paperwork and serve applicants. If there really is a substantial increase in efficiency, many of us will accept the fee increases without too much complaint.
What concerns many, though, is that low income immigrants who could barely afford the fees before will be most effected. Some human rights analysts believe the the government continues to make immigration easier for the wealthy and more difficult for the poor. That may not be kind or even ethical but the real question to the government is whether it makes for smart business sense as far as the USA is concerned.
The USCIS can waive fees for those who cannot afford them and it is entirely possible that many more applicants will qualify for a fee waiver with these fee increases. This could mean that the agency will garner less benefit than expected from the increases.
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