CFGI quoted – “Immigration Filing Fees About to Get Steeper”

5/12/2016
SHRM


“The filing fees for immigration and naturalization applications and petitions are scheduled to increase by an overall average of 21 percent, most likely later this summer, according to a recent proposal from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

“After a review of costs, USCIS found that current fees ‘do not recover the full costs of the services’ it provides and that adjusting the fees ‘is necessary to fully recover costs for USCIS services and to maintain adequate service.’

“…Experts agree that the service needs improvement. ‘When USCIS increases filing fees, our hope is that they will use the increased revenue to improve efficiency and reduce processing times,’ said Justin Storch, manager of agency liaison at the Council for Global Immigration, an affiliate of the Society for Human Resource Management, based in the Washington, D.C., area.

“‘Some of the proposed increases are quite high,’ said Denise Rahmani, director of the U.S. immigration program for software firm Oracle. She noted that Oracle ‘generally takes these things in stride simply as an increase in the cost of doing business’ and echoed other employer representatives’ stated hopes that the funds generated by the fee increases will result in an improvement in processing.

“…USCIS is primarily funded—95 percent—by immigration and naturalization benefit request fees charged to applicants and petitioners. The agency’s remaining funding comes from a small discretionary appropriation. Fees were last overhauled in 2010.

“…The highest fee increases will impact U.S. employers that bring college-educated workers to the country, as well as immigrant investors.

“The agency is proposing a 42 percent increase in the fee for filing Form I-129, which is used for H-1B professional and L-1 intracompany transfer visas (from $325 to $460).

“…USCIS is also proposing a 21 percent increase in the fee for filing Form I-140, which is used to request that a foreign worker become a permanent resident in the U.S. (from $580 to $700).

“…Premium processing fees…will remain at $1,225.

“The agency is proposing to limit the fee increase for Form I-765, known as an Employment Authorization Document (EAD), to 8 percent…

“…The proposed rule includes the fees for heavy users of the H-1B ($4,000) and L-1 ($4,500) visa programs set by Congress in 2015.”

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