US immigration may raise fees

    The US Citizenship and Immigration services are hoping to increase fees for the application for permanent residency to make up for lost revenue.

    The application for a green card would go up to a total of $1,050 including the fingerprinting fee. Right now, it costs $1,010.

    The fee to apply to become a US citizen remains the same at $675. The cost for naturalization went up in 2007, which was a 69% increase.

    The agency is required by law to review its fees regularly to determine if the fees cover the cost of business. The proposed fee changes are expected to start in the summer but must go through a public comment period first.

    David Leopold is the President–elect of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA).

    “The problem that you’ve got is you’ve got these fee increases but we don’t have any quality in how the decisions are made…you have some poor quality within decision making body. Even though the customers, the people, paying fee keeps getting their fees raised,” he said.

    Leopold added that AILA will submit their comments to the government. He believes the cost to file for immigration should rest on the entire country and Congress needs to appropriate funds out of its general system rather than putting the entire burden on immigrants.

    “We will let them know our concerns. Our concern is that the decision system is way off base. The government is way too quick to deny applications and that really what we ought to be doing, rather than raising fees, is raising the level of quality that immigrants get while filing applications,” said Leopold. Balitang America.

    By Racquel Rendon, ABS-CBN North America News Bureau
    Posted at 06/10/2010 12:05 PM | Updated as of 06/10/2010 12:05 PM

    Published on 15/06/2010 11:43:36