USCIS announced on November 8, 2019 that DHS will publish a notice of proposed rulemaking to adjust the USCIS Immigration Examinations Fee Account (IEFA) fee schedule. The proposal would increase fees by an average of 21 percent. USCIS last updated its fee schedule in 2017 and increased fees by an average of 21 percent also.
According to USCIS, fees collected and deposited into the IEFA fund approximately 96% of the agency's budget. USCIS obtains its funding from fees, unlike most government agencies. The agency conducts biennial fee reviews and adjusts the fees according to these reviews. USCIS claims that the current fees would leave the agency underfunded by $1.3 billion per year, and a 21% increase in the fees would ensure full cost recovery.
Ken Cuccinelli, acting director of USCIS, said that raising the fees will help cover costs of operational needs and processing requests, and help make sure that each applicant pays the full cost of the application. The proposed fee rule will also take into account increased costs of adjudicating immigration benefit requests, detecting and deterring fraud, and vetting applicants, petitioners, and beneficiaries.
Read the USCIS News Release about this here.
The proposed rule by DHS will be posted in the Federal Register on November 14, 2019. You can access the unpublished rule in the Federal Register here.
This blog post does not serve as legal advice and does not establish any client-attorney privilege. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact our legal team directly.
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This information comes from a news release from the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA Doc. No. 19110861).