USCIS WILL ADD 10% SURCHARGE, US VISA FEES LIKELY TO GO UP

The Government agency that processes immigration and visa application USCIS (US citizenship and immigration services) have decided to begin to attach a 10% surcharge to application fees.

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The agency has also requested $1.2 billion in emergency funding from congress. The agency has closed down its offices in March and suspended activities due to the coronavirus pandemic. The agency is adding the surcharge because it seems the agency is about to run out of money this summer.

The USCIS operates mostly on the money it raises from the fees collected. The USCIS handles the application for permanent residency, citizenship, along with petitions for asylum status and refugee. The closure of the office has prevented persons who passed citizenship tests from taking their oaths and have threatened the legal status of hundreds of immigrants whose visas are set to expire in the coming months.

The agency plans to reopen its offices from June 4. The USCIS also has the responsibility of approving the H-1B visas, which have become very famous among Indian techies.

The technology companies in the US depend on the H-1B visa to hire employees from China and India. Last year, the USCIS received 190,000 cap- subjected H-1B petitions. Last month, USCIS had said it has reached congressionally mandated 65,000 H-1B visa cap for the fiscal year 2020. Before the closure of their offices, the agency has been warning of a potential budget shortfall.

The administration of Mr Trump has adopted policies that will prevent immigrants from coming to the US. Under the current proposal of the USCIS, the cost of applying for citizenship will rise to $1,170 from $640.

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