There has been an across-the-board 21% overall increase for certain immigration applications proposed by USCIS a couple of weeks ago. The agency says the hikes are needed to cover operational costs and to pay for better vetting of applicants.
However, analysts worry that the increases will keep eligible immigrants from being able to complete the immigration process. Especially, considering that the proposal also limits availability of some fee waivers.
Jason Boyd, policy counsel for the American Immigration Lawyers Association, said increased USCIS processing times are due to several policy changes the agency instituted since President Donald Trump came into power. The agency has added some requirements, like in-person interviews for immigrants petitioning for green cards through employers, re-adjudicating applications to extend some work visas that had already been approved and increasing the number of requests for more evidence that can stall the processing of cases.
A full list of the price changes can be found on the rule proposal at federalregister.gov.
The public comment period is open until December 16.