Proposed USCIS filing fee increase

In November 2019, the Department of Homeland Security proposed to adjust USCIS fees by a weighted average increase of 21 percent, add new fees, and make other changes, including form changes and the introduction of several new forms. For example, the filing fee for the application for naturalization is proposed to increase by 83% to $1,170, petition for H-2A non-immigrant worker by 87% to $860 (named worker), petition for L non-immigrant worker by 77% to $815 and petition for O non-immigrant worker by 55% to $715.

On July 22, 2020, the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs completed review of a final rule increasing USCIS filing fees. The Federal Register will post a copy of the final rule for public inspection before publishing it officially. In the proposed rule, DHS noted that once the rule was finalized, it would not take effect for at least 60 days after publication.

If you are considering applying for a naturalization, green card or non-immigrant status, call an experienced immigration attorney at (480) 425-2009 or contact us through our website to schedule a consultation
before the filing fees increase.


Changes in employment authorization for asylum seekers

On August 25, 2020, new changes to the regulations governing asylum seekers and their eligibility for employment authorization will become effective. New regulations extend the wait time before the asylum seeker can apply for employment authorization from 150 days to 365 days. Asylum seekers who have failed to file for asylum within one year of their last entry won’t be eligible to apply until exception to the one-year requirement is approved.

The regulations prevent asylum seeker who, absent good cause, illegally entered the United States from obtaining employment authorization. In addition, regulations define new bars and denials for employment authorization, such as for certain criminal behavior; limit the employment authorization validity period to a maximum of two years; and automatically terminates employment authorization when an applicant’s asylum denial is final.

Please note that this article does not constitute a legal advice.  We simplified the law in order to outline the latest changes to employment authorization process for asylum seekers.  If you would like to discuss if you may qualify for asylum and associated work authorization, call our experienced immigration attorney at 480-425-2009 or contact an experienced immigration attorney via our website to schedule a consultation.