San Francisco Immigration Lawyer Considers Hikes in Fees
The USCIS is proposing a fee hike on the average of 10% for immigration benefit petitions and applications. They would not raise the fee for the application for naturalization, but other charges would go up. This is, of course, a big topic of discussion in my San Francisco office and amongst immigration lawyers.
The USCIS is primarily funded by the fees it collects. In fact, a whopping 90% of its budget comes from the fees that people and organizations pay to the agency. Every two years, the USCIS is charged with reviewing its fees. This is part of a normal and formal process that designed to help keep the organization on track in terms of budget.
The problem for the USCIS is that it has not met revenue projections for 2008 and 2009 and those for 2010 are also behind. There have been budget cuts of $160 million and the Congress has funded the USCIS. But this problem seems to be escalating and the agency does have to address it in some manner.
The Good News
As an immigration lawyer, I feel that the good news is that the USCIS is not proposing a hike in the naturalization application fee. There’s a very good reason for this. It has to do with the very nature of the naturalization process and it’s benefits.
To quote the agency, “The USCIS has determined that the act of requesting and obtaining U.S. citizenship deserves special consideration given the unique nature of this benefit to the individual applicant, the significant public benefit to the nation, and the nation’s proud tradition of welcoming new citizens.”
This statement is grounded on the very foundation of what has helped to make the US a powerful and influential country—its belief in the positive aspects of welcoming immigrants to the country as productive citizens.
What You Can Do
Here is the link to the proposal http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2010/2010-13991.htm on which people are encouraged to comment. I was speaking with a colleague in my San Francisco office and it’s a simple fact that the deficit must be addressed, however, the USCIS previoiusly significantly increase their fees.
If you have any questions regarding these proposed changes or the immigration process, you may want to consult with an immigration lawyer. I will keep focused on this issiue and be writing about it again in the near future.
Please contact the Ranchod Law Group with offices serving San Francisco, San Jose, and Sacramento California, at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 415-986-6186 if you have any questions regarding the proposed USCIS fee hikes or immigration law.
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