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New Immigration Fees Philadelphia Immigrants Should Know About

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If you’re seeking to get naturalized you’ll need more money than you used to. The Trump Administration just all but doubled the fees. What was once a $640 fee for an online application has shot up to $1,160

Even asylum-seekers are seeing new fees. While the $50 fee for asylum seekers may seem modest to some, the truth is that for most asylum-seekers $50 might as well be $5000. They don’t have it.

These fees aren’t in response to the budget shortfall, but were part of a routine budget adjustment that takes place every two years, according to USCIS. 

A proposed $275 renewal fee for DACA recipients will not be enacted at this time. Yet the Trump Administration is now saying that they will no longer accept new applications at all, and renewals are being limited to a single year. DACA recipients must also pay steep fees for employment authorization and biometric services already, fees that are not going away.

The Trump administration has also announced it fully intends to defy the Supreme Court’s DACA rulings. 

Fees for work-permit seekers are going up 37%. The new work permit fees will sit at $550.

In addition, the DHS has eliminated certain fee waiver categories, such as those used to demonstrate financial hardship. They have ceased accepting evidence or granting fee waivers “related to temporary illness and injury, recessions, bankruptcy, or any of the other myriad situations that may render qualified people unable to pay fees but that cannot be characterized as natural disasters.” 

The DHS “believes that a provision for financial hardship is unnecessary, as past fee waivers requested using the financial hardship criterion were minimal.” They stated they did not believe that eliminating fee waivers “makes immigration benefits accessible to low income applicants who have financial hardships.”  

Roughly 97% of the USCIS budget is funded by application fees.  They insist they need the increase to fund fraud detection and vetting units, as well as operations, technology, and payroll. 

Once, the fee to apply for naturalization was less than $100. If the Trump Administration can’t squeeze people out with policy, they’ll squeeze them out by making immigration completely financially untenable for all but a few. 

If you’re one of the lucky people who can pay these fees, do keep in mind that the fees alone won’t get you into the country, and if you don’t get in then you’ll lose them. Make sure you reach out to an experienced immigration attorney before starting the process.

You can get a free consultation from the team here at Hykel Law.

See also:

New Laws for Green Card Holders in 2020

How to Get a Green Card for Your Fiancee

What Are The Grounds for Cancellation of Removal? 

 

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Although it often comes with controversy, immigration into the United States has always played a major role in the strength of its economy. Perhaps no one understands this more than the residents of Philadelphia, where the Liberty Bell still welcomes foreigners to one of the richest historical communities of our country.

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Not knowing or understanding the system and laws of the U.S. can be a disadvantage for many foreign immigrants who wish to obtain permanent residency in the United States, either for themselves or for their loved ones. Hykel Law’s Family-Based Immigration Services can lead you through the complicated process to achieve either temporary or permanent residency, depending on your situation.

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