Increased fees are coming to US immigration law

Applying for things like visas and green cards is not always easy. For some people in Louisiana, the hardest part is finding the money for the application fees. Although some fees are relatively small, others can be much more expensive. A proposed change to U.S. immigration law could make some of those fees even higher than before.

The Department of Homeland Security — DHS — recently suggested that the fees for immigration services be reviewed. The fees are still being reviewed and will be until Dec. 20, 2019, when the review will no longer be open to comments. The fee changes will go into effect soon after. Including a few reductions, all immigration related fees will increase by an average of 21%.

Under this change, applying for a minor’s travel documents will go up only $10, from $135 to $145. The change is much more drastic for natural citizenship applications. The fee is currently $640, but after a $530 increase applicants will have to pay $1,170. It is possible that some people who had previously planned on applying for citizenship might have to put off doing so because of the cost. Since permanent residents can be more easily removed from the country, any delay could leave these individuals in otherwise vulnerable situations.

There are no fees for applying for asylum under current U.S. immigration law, but this is set to change as well. Soon, anyone seeking asylum will need to pay a $50 fee. This change probably feels very overwhelming to some people, especially when they do not have the funds to cover certain fees. However, some Louisiana immigrants have more than one option, some of which may have lower fees. Because of this, it is very helpful to look at other options in order to gain an understanding of the most cost-effective way to proceed.