US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) is currently facing a shortfall of $118-million in agency's revenue and because the agency is supposed to be self-sufficient the agency is now thinking about yet another round of application fee hike to self-support its operation at the current scale with such "financial challenges" as a result of this $118-million declining in revenue.
This was the comment made by Alejandro Mayorkas, the new director of the USCIS, during a visit to Los Angeles on Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2009, although Mayorkas quickly added that no final decision has been made.
Each time the government announced a fee hike, it was always accompanied by a rush to file their cases by the immigrants before the hike and followed by a decline in filing shortly after the hike. For example, applications for naturalization (US citizenship applications) plunged to 58,000 in 2008 from 254,000 for the previous year in the Southern California district alone was blamed by most experts on the last 69% increase in the application fee hike from $400 to $675 in 2007.
Although any such a fee increase by the USCIS must go through the legislative process and will have to be published in the Federal Register before it becomes effective, it is a good idea to file those applications without further delay if you are eligible for certain immigration benefits such as naturalization for US citizenship and have been thinking about it, to avoid the rush in the line and the additional costs if the fee hike is to be actually finalized or made official.
You can read more about Alejandro Mayorkas' remarks to include fee hikes as one of the possible options to be self-supporting when the agency is now facing this $118-million revenue shortfall in a news story reported by Teresa Wantanabe and Anna Gorman published in today's Los Angeles Times titled: "Immigration officials consider more fee increases"
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