Emigrating to the United States can get cheaper. Surprisingly the Department of Homeland Security - DHS (the Department of Homeland Security) announced this weekend a lower than expected readjustment in the fees charged for Citizenship and Immigration services offered by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services - USCIS. In some cases, immigration visa fees have been up to 20% lower than those currently charged, some other fees, in other hand, have increased significantly.
The surprise comes from the fact that, unlike most American government agencies, the USCIS organizational structure is practically entirely covered by the fees charged for the services provided. And today the USCIS faces a critical financial problem. The deficit for the fiscal year ending next September is estimated at approximately US $ 1.2 billion, as we mentioned in another post.
The USCIS is considering, as presented in recent weeks, to put about 13,000 of its 19,000 employees on unpaid leave due to the financial crisis. If this happens, it will severely hamper the Department's service provision in issuing and judging visa application cases to adjust the condition of foreigners on American soil, among others.
According to information from USCIS itself and, as required by federal law, the agency conducted a extensive review of biennial fees that were the same since 2016 and confirmed that current fees do not recover the cost of providing its services. DHS is adjusting USCIS rates by a weighted average increase of 20% to help recover its operating costs. But some fees have actually dropped, for example, application fees for Employment Based (EBs) visa using Form I-140 will drop from $ 700 to $ 555; the biometric fee, which today is $ 85 and will be $ 30; and the fee for adjustment of status for those already on American soil will drop from $ 1140 to $ 1130. The new fees, if confirmed, will take effect on October 2nd.