What to Know About the Updated USCIS Fees Before You Reach Out to An Immigration

Posted by Berd & Klauss, PLLC on December 7th, 2020

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is an agency under the US Department of Homeland Security that is responsible for administering the country’s immigration and naturalization system. If you are planning to get an O-1 or an H1-B visa any time soon, it is best to be up-to-date with their fees before going to an immigration firm in New York. The updated USCIS service fees were announced by Homeland Security when it released its final rule on July 31, 2020, and the new fees are to take effect onwards from October 2, 2020.

It’s important to know that USCIS is fee funded, unlike most other government agencies. So, it adjusted the fees for certain naturalization benefit and immigration requests in an effort to recover the costs of its services. The fees that are collected and deposited into the Immigration Examinations Fee Account fund accounts for almost 97 percent of its budget. The USCIS is also required by federal law to do a biennial fee review.

To know more about the updated fees, you can refer to USCIS’s final rule released on the last week of July 2020 or you can consult with an O1 visa lawyer in NYC. The last time it increased its fees was in 2016. At that time, the weighted average in the increase was 21 percent. USCIS determined in a review this year that the previous fee structure would leave it with an annual funding deficit of billion.

The increased costs on USCIS fees should adjudicate immigration benefit requests, thoroughly vet beneficiaries, applicants, and petitioners, and detect and deter immigration-related fraud. The rule also supports the operations, payroll, and technology to contribute to the accomplishment of USCIS’ mission. An H1B attorney from New York is expected to be up-to-date with the fees to help you make an informed decision.

Take note that certain fee waivers and fee exemptions have also been reduced or eliminated, although the final rule stated a fee reduction for applicants submitting their forms online. This way, online filing can be encouraged, as USCIS also promotes that as a secure and efficient means to submit requests. If you are working with an immigration firm in New York, make sure that they are up-to-date with the fee requirements as per the final rule.

About the Author:

This content is written by Patrick Klauss, Esq, who is an immigration lawyer and a partner at Berd & Klauss, PLLC. The firm specializes in immigration & immigration-related issues and handles everything from immigrant visas to deportation and waivers.

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Berd & Klauss, PLLC
Joined: January 3rd, 2020
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