March has been a pretty quiet month for immigration policy, so we have just a couple of updates this month.
In January, United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) unveiled a proposal to raise the fees for many common application types in an attempt to provide more funding for its operations. This includes a potential doubling of fees from $1,760 to over $3,640 for marriage-based green card applications, and eliminating the fee reduction that used to be available for child applicants. This means that for a family of four, the costs of obtaining legal permanent residency can now exceed $10,000.
The period for public comment on this proposal just ended last week, and not surprisingly, USCIS received over 6,000 comments, the vast majority of which expressed concern about the drastic fee increases. Where this will go from here remains to be seen, so stay tuned for updates.
Switching over to more positive news, the National Visa Center has managed to clear some of its perpetual Green card application backlog this month, shrinking the backlog by about 6,000 cases, or 5%. As we come out of the COVID pandemic, many government agencies are working harder to reduce backlogs, most of which grew during the pandemic.
As always, we are here to answer all your questions about immigration news and policy, so do not hesitate to reach out to us!