1. Travel Visa 15% Fee Increase
The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has recently announced that they will be increasing travel visa fees by fifteen percent. Considering there have not been any increases in fees since 2014, this came as a surprise for many. The fifteen percent increase will raise the price from $160 to $185 for applicants of various non-immigrant visa categories. Among the categories are business visas, tourist visas, and student visas. Additionally, the charge for temporary employee visas will rise by approximately eight percent, from $190 to $205. Meanwhile, the fee for treaty traders, investors, and candidates in specialty occupations will rise from $205 to $315.
As depicted by USCIS, work and tourism visas are a key component of United States President Joe Biden’s foreign policy, underlining the significance of international travel to the nation’s economy. In addition, the U.S. is one of the most common countries chosen by students for studying abroad programs, therefore, the more fees being paid for student visas, the greater amount of money the nation receives for its expenses.
According to immigration authorities, increases in fees are required in order to hire additional employees for application evaluation, and decrease the number of cases that remain open. In addition to expanding the amount of staff and getting rid of case backlogs, fee raises are required to recuperate operating expenses and expedite processing of applications.
2. Necessary Budget Increases for Tackling Immigration Backlogs
Democratic representatives, Lou Correa and Dan Goldman, wrote a letter to the Homeland Security Appropriations Committee insisting on a budget increase to tackle immigration backlogs. They claim that twice the amount of the current funding is necessary in order to support the processing of applications and the elimination of backlogs at the offices handling asylum, the field, and service center operations.
Despite the need for government money, the majority of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS’s) financing comes from fees applicants pay for a variety of immigration services, including submitting petitions, their own applications, and requests for immigration benefits. These fees are established by a complicated fee structure that accounts for the price of processing various application types, administrative costs associated with operating the agency, and the need to have a reserve for unforeseen costs or shifts in service demand.
USCIS may also collect income through grants or contributions in addition to filing fees, although they are very little compared to the agency’s total reliance on applicant-borne expenditures. Roughly 96% of USCIS’s financing comes from filing fees alone which makes up the majority. To expand their budget, USCIS has recommended an increase in filing costs for practically every form of visa application, with some categories slated to double in costs, in order to address mounting financial issues.
3. Administrative Naturalization Ceremony Venues Updates
Venues for administrative naturalization ceremonies are places where naturalization ceremonies are held for those who have finished the naturalization process and have been granted citizenship by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). These ceremony locations differ from federal courthouses to USCIS field offices, to other government facilities. The quantity of applicants and the accessibility of amenities in the neighborhood are all factors which influence the precise location of the ceremony.
These naturalization ceremonies provide a formal and festive atmosphere for new citizens to recognize their ascension to citizenship within the U.S. alongside their family and friends who are welcome to attend and celebrate their accomplishment. Administrative naturalization ceremony locations play a significant role in the naturalization process overall, giving new citizens a memorable experience as they take their last step toward assimilating into American culture.
In order to announce administrative naturalization ceremony updates, USCIS makes sure to publish them online and within their manuals. This is meant to keep people informed and up to date. Aside from informing the public and those looking to provide venue space, the clarifying advice is a part of USCIS’s efforts to increase openness about the potential ways to collaborate with the agency on naturalization ceremonies. In accordance with the advice in the policy manual published by USCIS, the agency encourages facility gifts from public and private organizations to further its long-standing objective of encouraging public knowledge of the naturalization process.
4. Unlawful Border Crossing by Asylum Seekers Subject to a New Biden Rule
The Biden administration has recently tightened border control regulations. Along with these limitations, a temporary regulation was also proposed, which is meant to punish asylum seekers who enter the country illegally or fail to request protection in other countries they travel through on their routes to the United States.
No matter how they enter the country, refugees who are fleeing persecution are entitled to asylum under United States immigration law. Biden’s regulation, which is set to go into effect in May and last for two years, would infer that anyone who enters the country unlawfully is ineligible for asylum. The penalty may potentially reduce the number of border crossers who are let into the country while waiting for a hearing in the overburdened immigration courts in the United States by making it simpler for the government to deport border crossers who indicate a fear of danger.
The revelation of the new policy, released by both the Justice and Homeland Security Departments, is the most recent action taken by the administration to shore up a possible weakness for President Biden should he seek reelection in the upcoming year. Many of the immigration restrictions put in place by the Trump administration were overturned or repealed after Biden took office, but the president’s promises to establish a more orderly system have been undermined by regular spectacles of border mayhem and record numbers of illegal crossings.
5. Temporary Protected Status Information
Temporary Protected Status, or TPS, is granted to nationals of countries who cannot safely return to their country of birth due to dangerous conditions or other circumstances that prevents them from living a stable life there. Countries experiencing ongoing war, environmental disasters, and other horrible situations are designated for TPS. When an individual is granted TPS, they cannot be removed from the United States, and they have the opportunity to gain employment authorization in the United States for the time being. However, TPS does not permit lawful permanent residency, but individuals under TPS can apply for nonimmigrant status or file for adjustment of status. Also, once an individual is granted TPS, they are obligated to re-register during each period to maintain their benefits.
An application for TPS does not impact an asylum application. Nevertheless, denial of an asylum application does not affect TPS registration, although it may lead to TPS denial. It is important to note that TPS stops the time period on the “requirement to file for asylum within one year of arriving in the United States”, according to USCIS.
Shepelsky Law may provide legal guidance and representation to individuals navigating the immigration news in today’s complex world. Learn more about the laws and policies in the United States. Given the constantly changing landscape of immigration news and regulations, having a knowledgeable and experienced legal team on your side may be crucial in achieving your desired outcome.
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