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Immigration Application Fees Set to Increase

3 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago Monday, November 11 2019 Nov 11, 2019 November 11, 2019 6:17 PM November 11, 2019 in News - Local

WESLACO – The cost of filing immigration applications is going up.

The Department of Homeland Security will be posting the proposed United States Citizenship and Immigration Services fee increases on the federal registry Nov. 14, 2019.

USCIS announced in a statement if they do not increase the fees, they will face a deficit of $1.3 billion dollars annually.

However, the effects will be felt by those working minimum wage jobs, believes immigration attorney Jaime Diez.

Many immigrants who will be filing applications to bring their spouses to the U.S. will feel the difference greatly. The application for that process is comprised of the I-485 form, a work permit and a travel document. Combined they are currently about $1,255.

Under the new fees, the applications are priced separately for a total of about $2,185, including the biometrics services cost.

Diez says that's a difference of about a "$1,000, that would mean if you're making minimum wage, it would probably be about seven weeks of every cent that you make would be devoted for you to be able to pay for the filing fees of that application."

Those are just for the filing fees not including costs for legal assistance.

Diez says the longer immigrants wait to file, the more exposed they become to immigration targeted enforcement.

Under the new changes, DACA employment authorization applications will increase by $80. DACA renewals will now be charged $275 when previously there was no charge. Filing to appeal naturalization proceedings will now cost $1,755, reflecting an increase of more than $1,000. The other proposed fees can be found in the proposed rule under Table 19: Proposed Fees by Immigration Benefit p. 155-159.

The changes will take effect in the coming months.

Normally, Diez says most people wait to file their applications when they get their income tax returns. He advises to file earlier this year to avoid the increased fees.

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