Effective Oct. 2, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services had planned to increase the cost of immigrating to the United States. On average, a foreign national living in Illinois would pay $1,160 to become a citizen if the fee increases were allowed to take effect. However, the changes were temporarily stayed by a federal judge in the Northern District of California.
Fee increases would impact individuals and businesses
If at least half of a company’s employees have H-1B or L-1 visas, it may be required to pay up to $4,000 to obtain extensions for its workers. This is true for organizations that have 50 or more employees, and the increase would be attributed to a different interpretation of existing immigration law. The fee to apply or an H-1B visa would increase to $555 while the cost to apply for an L visa would increase to $805.
Why the fee increases were put on hold
According to the judge who ordered the stay, the plaintiffs in the case would likely be able to prove that the new rule violated provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act. Furthermore, he said the Department of Homeland Security had erred in its belief that raising immigration fees wouldn’t dissuade immigrants from applying for asylum or other forms of legal status. If the new rule passes, asylum seekers would be required to pay $50 to have their requests considered and a $490 fee to obtain a work authorization document.
If you are attempting to obtain legal status in the United States, an immigration attorney may be able to help you accomplish that goal. It might be possible to learn more about the process of submitting visa or other work authorization documents as well as the fees associated with doing so.