For an immigrant seeking US naturalization it has just got considerably more expensive.
It has happened almost after a gap of 6 years, as a range of administrative fees for citizenship applications have been hiked by the Department of Homeland Security. The costs of some of the services have been doubled in few cases.
All the petitions that have been filed after December 23rd should be submitted along with higher fees. According to a statement from the US Citizenship and Immigration Services, the money collected from higher fees will be directed towards processing cases, detecting fraud and a range of activities including administrative costs.
The rise in bureaucratic costs may lead to many cash-strapped aspiring citizens bearing the heavier burden of the costs. USCIS gave reasons as to why it hiked the price, reasoning that the agency is completely funded and run by the fees that are submitted by petitioners, fresh cash infusion was needed from a long time.
In a statement released by USCIS Director Leon Rodriguez it has been mentioned that the agency is aware of the effect increase in fees will have one numerous customers they want to serve. It is because of this reason; it took them so long to increase the fees.
However, it has been added that along with increase in fees, USCIS has reduced the fees for some naturalization applications. The large number of immigrants who want to come and settle in US will be affected by the new pricing policy. Every year, hundreds of thousands of new applicants are naturalized by USCIS.
Data from the Migration Policy Institute has indicated that nearly 7 million people have naturalized in the country in the last decade. According to an immigration attorney, Glenn Martin Miller, some applicants will have problem with new fee hike, even though there has been waiver in filing.
When we take a look at the history, increase in fees has resulted in an increase in the number of applications submitted. This is because applicants try to get ahead as and when fee is increased. According to USCIS, more than 700,000 applications were submitted last year.
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