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Tag Archives: immigration

USCIS Increases Fees for Certain Applications

In light of the coronavirus pandemic, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is facing the reality of financial crisis. 

USCIS, through a spokesperson, relayed to the United States Government that it would need $1.2 billion in the form of a cash bailout to continue operations. In addition to furloughs, the agency announced that it would increase fees.

On August 3, 2020, a final rule was posted in the Federal Register that will increase filing fees for certain types of immigration benefit filings.

When will the changes take effect?

The new fees will become effect 60 days after publishing the rule which means the new fees take effect starting October 2, 2020.

Biggest Changes:

Form 601A, Provisional waiver for unlawful presence is increasing by 52% from $725 (form with biometrics included) to $1010.

Form N400, Application for naturalization is increasing by 83% from $715 (including biometrics) to $1220.

Changes to some of the most commonly filed forms:

FormCurrent Cost  New Cost Change (%)Percent(%)
I90 Green Card Renewal – Online filing$455$405-$50-11%
I90 Green Card Renewal – Paper filing$455$415-$40-9%
I129F Petition for Fiancé$535$510-$25-%5
I130 Petition for Relative – online $535$550$153%
I130 Petition for Relative – paper$535$560$255%
I192 Advance Permission to enter as nonimmigrant$930$1400$470377%
I485 Application to Register Permanent Residency$1140$1130$-10-1%
I589 Application for asylum$0$50$50N/A
I601 Waiver$930$1010$809%
I601A Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver$630$960$33052%
I751 Removal of Conditions on Residency$595$760$16528%
I765 Work Permit- DACA only$410$410$00
I765 Work Permit -NON DACA$410$550$14034%
N400 Naturalization Application – online$640$1160$52081%
N400 Naturalization Application – paper$640$1170$53083%
Biometrics (except DACA)$85$50$-35-65%
Biometrics DACA$85$85$00
     

Questions? Please text or call 775.453.4451

Or, you can book a call here.

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Executive Order Update

President trump signed an executive order Wednesday, April 22, 2020 which temporarily suspends immigration into the United States for 60 days.  The stated goal of the measure is to protect the American job market. Understandably, this has caused a lot of stress and concern during a time that has already been challenging due to the Coronavirus.

WHO DOES THE ORDER APPLY TO?

  1. People who are outside the US on April 23, 2020;
  2. People who do not have an immigrant visa that is valid on April 23, 2020; and
  3. People who do not have an official travel document other than a visa (such as a transportation letter or an advance parole document).

WHO IS EXEMPT?

  1. Lawful permanent residents (green card holders);
  2. Physicians, nurses, and other healthcare professionals (and their spouses and children) if they are coming to the US to aid in the COVID-19 outbreak.
  3. Spouses and unmarried children (but not parents) of US citizens;
  4. Any member of the US Armed Forces and their spouse and children;
  5. EB-5 Investors;
  6. Certain Special Immigrants and certain and
  7. “Any alien whose entry would be in the national interest or whose entry would further important United States law enforcement objectives, as determined by the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Homeland Security, or their respective designees, based on a recommendation of the Attorney General or his designee;”

HOW LONG WILL THE EXECUTIVE ORDER BE IN EFFECT?

The executive order will remain in effect for a minimum of 60 days and may be extended. Within 30 days of April 22, 2020, the Department of Labor, Department of Homeland of Security and the State Department will be reviewing current visa programs and making additional recommendations.

TAKEAWAYS

  1. It does not affect those who are applying for immigration benefits in the U.S. including extensions of stay, changes of status and adjustment of status. Meaning, it does not impact those who have cases pending with USCIS in the U.S. right now.
  2. It does not apply to those seeking asylum.
  3. If you need information on your particular case, the best thing to do is talk to an immigration attorney.
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What to do if detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)?

What to do if someone you know is detained by ICE?

Things can move quickly once a person is detained.  ICE can arrest someone at their house, at their workplace, on the street, or they can place an “ICE hold” on those who are detained in a local jail for criminal or other proceedings.

If a person is being held by local authorities under an ICE hold, this typically means that once the criminal proceedings are complete, ICE will take them in to custody at a separate facility.  As soon as someone is placed under an ICE hold is the appropriate time to speak to an immigration lawyer and to start gathering documents.

Does the detained immigrant have a plan in place? Here is a good place to start with a preparedness plan.

What information do you need to gather?

  • The detained immigrant’s full name and date of birth
  • Where are they being held? The ICE detainee locator will help you find the person once in ICE custody.  But, before that, you will need to find out if they are in a local jail or facility and exactly where it is.
  • If the immigrant is already in ICE custody, see if they have an alien registration number (A#).

 

Information to prepare for a meeting with an immigration attorney

  • When did the immigrant come to the United States? How did he enter? Has he left?
  • What was the immigrant doing and where was he when he was detained?
  • Does the immigrant have a criminal history? If so, what are the dates and the convictions?
  • Has he or she ever been in immigration court before or were they ever detained at the border?
  • Has he or she ever been issued a removal order (deportation)?
  • Does the immigrant have any United States citizen or lawful permanent resident family members?
  • Has anyone ever filed a family petition for a relative?

Who decides whether a detained immigrant will be released?

ICE agents will make the first bond determination.  They can opt to release the immigrant on his own recognizance (no bond payment), they can set a bond, or they can deny bond.

If ICE denies bond, that is not the end of the road.  The detained immigrant may have an opportunity to request a bond from the Immigration Court.

How does the IJ decide whether or not to grant a bond?

The immigration judge is going to consider whether the immigrant is 1) a “flight risk,” meaning whether or not he is going to appear at future hearings or 2) a danger to the community.

 

What documents can you submit to show that the immigrant merits a bond?

  • Proof of US citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse or children (birth certificates, marriage certificate, etc.) and proof of hardship they will suffer without him.
  • Proof of long time residence in the United States
  • Proof of paying taxes
  • Letters from employers, church members, family, and friends attesting to the good moral character of Immigrant.
  • Proof of eligibility for any relief – for example a family petition receipt or approval notice

Does the detained immigrant need an attorney?

An attorney can facilitate communication with ICE, provide information about the immigrant’s options, and can advocate for the immigrant in a bond hearing with the Immigration Court.

Cristina M. Hughes handles bond cases and bond (custody) hearings for immigrants detained in California, Nevada, and at the border.  Please call 775.453.4451 or e-mail [email protected] to set up an appointment today.