The new fees vary between different kinds of immigration applications, but the increases affect everything from visas to green card applications, to naturalization fees and DACA renewals. Even asylum applications, previously free, are set to instate a $50 application fee, which would make the United States one of only a few countries (such as Fiji, Australia and Iran) that doesn’t offer free asylum applications. Overall, the cost of applying to immigrate legally to the United States is set to increase by an average of more than 20%.
The new fee structure proposed by USCIS is seemingly part of a larger effort by the Trump Administration to impede legal immigration by imposing increasingly onerous burdens on those seeking legal immigration status. The increased cost of applying, and particularly the new asylum application fee, make it harder for poor immigrants to legally enter the United States. Combined with a change to the “public charge” rule that was proposed early this year, it seems it is the consistent policy of USCIS under the Trump Administration to make immigration by those with few economic resources as difficult as possible.
With these potential changes happening fast, it may be worthwhile to file your immigration applications sooner rather than later. Additionally, this is hardly the first time the Trump Administration has introduced sudden changes to the immigration process, with forms and procedures becoming ever more complicated. It may be both easier and cheaper, therefore, to get your applications done as soon as you can.
In this hostile landscape, it’s more important than ever that you have legal representation for your immigration case. The lawyers at Bretz & Coven, LLP are experienced in handling various immigration matters, including asylum applications, visa applications and more. For more information or to schedule a consultation
at our New York City or New Jersey law office, call (212) 267-2555.