This sponsored column is by Law Office of James Montana PLLC. All questions about it should be directed to James Montana, Esq., Doran Shemin, Esq., and Laura Lorenzo, Esq., practicing attorneys at The Law Office of James Montana PLLC, an immigration-focused law firm located in Falls Church, Virginia. The legal information given here is general in nature. If you want legal advice, contact us for an appointment.
USCIS is required by statute to re-evaluate its fees every two years.
Naturally, the fees haven’t changed for six years. Partially, that’s due to litigation — when the Trump Administration tried to increase fees massively (for, we thought, pretextual reasons), the federal courts said no.
The Biden Administration’s plan to increase fees is broadly distributed across several classes. In short, the fees are going to hit the following groups: businesses and individual green card applicants. According to the Biden Administration, extra fees imposed on businesses will go to fund asylum adjudication at the border.
What are the fee increases?
Everyone pays more, but especially businesses and green card applicants.
The big news for individuals is as follows:
- Citizenship application fees jump from $725 to $760 (a small hop).
- Green card application fees jump from $1,225 to $2,820 (a big leap!)
The big news for businesses is as follows:
- H-1B lottery registration costs go up from $10 to $215.
- H-1B application fees increase from $460 to $1,380, including the new $600 asylum support surcharge.
Premium processing fees don’t change — at $2,500, costs stay flat — but, just like you experience shrinkflation at the grocery story, businesses will see service decline without a drop in price. Premium processing will now mean an answer from USCIS within 15 business days rather than 15 calendar days.
Does this agency deserve more money?
Maybe. We’re skeptical. We favor efficient and fair administration of the law, but USCIS has not shown itself to be an efficient steward of public funds.
Take a look at these processing times, helpfully provided by DHS’s own statistics arm.
Lost your green card? Sixteen months. It used to be four, within the memory of our oldest lawyer. Applying for a green card based on marriage to a U.S. citizen at the Baltimore Field Office? Four years. (In Virginia, it’s better — just a year and a half!)
USCIS’s budget has increased markedly over this time. Presidential administrations have come and gone. The Service still can’t get its work done efficiently.
These fees won’t go into effect for at least another sixty days, so don’t hurry to file an application before the time is right.
Questions about the new fees? Ask away. We appreciate questions and will do our best to respond.
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Children’s Weekday Program (CWP) is a non-profit preschool rooted in a play-based philosophy. We focus on developing a love of learning and exploration, cooperation, empathy, and independence.
Our caring and experienced educators create opportunities for children 16 months to 5 years old to play, learn, and grow in a nurturing environment of child-centered and developmentally appropriate experiences.
Initially established more than 50 years ago in South Arlington, CWP continues to be a lauded program in the Northern Virginia area. We are extremely proud to have been recognized as a Best Preschool in Northern Virginia Magazine for the last 4 years.
Located now in North Arlington at 2666 Military Road, CWP offers a part-time parents day out and preschool program with options to extend care both before and after school. We offer a supportive and inclusive school community for children and parents alike and welcome all families to join our school!
The Optimist Club of Arlington is holding its 77th annual Christmas tree sale!
This year, the tree sale will be held at the Knights of Columbus (5115 Little Falls Road). The lot opens for sales on November 24th. The Optimist Club is selling small and large trees ranging from tabletop size to 10 foot tall trees! Wreaths, garland, tree stands, and White House Christmas ornaments will also be for sale.
100% of all proceeds go towards helping Arlington County youth.
For more information, please visit the Arlington Optimists website at https://optimistclubofarlingtonva.org/.
Holiday Art Show featuring artists: Peter Fitzgerald, Claire Plante, Alanna Rivera, and Suzy Scollon. At the Barcroft Community House, 800 South Buchanan St., Arlington, VA. Dec. 8 from, 2 PM to 8 PM and Dec. 9 from 10 AM to
2023 Christmas Tree Sales Begin
Saturday, December 2
Get your holiday decorating off to the right start this year! We will be selling 150 Fraser firs, freshly cut and delivered from Sparta, North Carolina.