The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced a significant increase in the filing fees for many applicants, which takes affect starting 2 October 2020.
For the first time in US history, USCIS has also announced a fee for applications for asylum seekers and an elimination of many existing fee waivers.
The N-400 naturalisation application fee will increase from $640 to $1160 for online applications and $1170 for paper applications – at an 83 percent increase.
This increase in fees comes in as the USCIS, unlike other US government agencies, relies on fees for its funds. According to the Migration Policy Research, the USCIS fee carryover went into the negative for the first time since 2007 in FY 2019. It is expected to reach USD 1.5 billion this year.
These changes come at a time when the United States has seen a significant decrease in legal immigration. Data from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) showed a decline in legal immigration by more than 7.3 percent, between FY 2016 and FY 2018.
Among the countries with noticeably lower immigration numbers are Mexico, China, Vietnam and South Korea, states the report. Legal immigration from Mexico saw a decrease by 7 percent, whereas legal immigration by Chinese citizens to America decreased by over 20 percent.
The new policies will continue to make naturalisation a difficult process, as has been promised by the Trump Administration. To make things worse, the current backlog of Indian citizens applying for permanent residency in US that exceeds over 800,000 applicants.
. Read more on The Indian American by The Quint.India Reports 87 Rapes Per Day: NCRB Data Amid Hathras Outrage The Road to US Citizenship: Naturalisation Fee to Spike From 2 Oct . Read more on The Indian American by The Quint.