Apply Now for Immigration Applications: Substantial Fee Increases Proposed

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The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has proposed substantial increases in the fees it charges for three dozens different immigration applications. The period for comments on the new fees closed earlier this month and the fees will likely be increased in the fall. As families are learning about these higher fees, they are coming forward to apply ahead of the increases.

One of the most common immigration applications that face a fee increase is the application for Citizenship (Form N-400). This application will go up 8%, a $45 hike in cost. There will be some enhanced opportunities for lower income families to obtain partial fee waivers if they have incomes below 200% of the poverty line.

U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents applying for their family members will also see fees go up. DHS wants a 27% increase, $115 dollars, to process the Form I-130 used to commence the process of bringing a family member to the U.S. Other forms connected to the Family Immigration process would also be increased, bringing the total cost of applying to $1,760 in fees.

Many Long Islanders with temporary statuses like DACA or TPS have to apply for Advanced Parole if they want to go home for family emergencies. The fee for this application would go up 60%, from $360 to $575, under the proposed changes. This will be a great hardship on those applying for emergency permission to leave and reenter because of an illness or death in their families.

People wishing to file immigration applications for themselves or family members should apply before the beginning of October. While we don’t know the date the new fees will go into effect, waiting past October 1 may be costly.

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Patrick Young blogs daily for Long Island Wins. He is the Downstate Advocacy Director of the New York Immigration Coalition and Special Professor of Immigration Law at Hofstra School of Law. He served as the Director of Legal Services and Program at Central American Refugee Center (CARECEN) for three decades before retiring in 2019. Pat is also a student of immigration history and the author of The Immigrants' Civil War.

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