The cost to apply for a green card could increase by as much as 130% under a new proposal announced Tuesday.
Green card applicants applying to adjust their status from within the United States could pay more than $3,500 in government fees, a drastic increase from the current fee of $1,760, according to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
The proposal also includes a 101% increase for removal of conditions applications, and separate fees for the optional work and travel permit forms, which have long been free to file as part of the green card application.
Children will also no longer receive a discount, dramatically increasing green card costs for families. For instance, a U.S. citizen sponsoring their spouse and two stepchildren could end up paying more than $10,000 for a marriage green card application.
Citizenship applications would see a less dramatic spike, from $640 to $760 — a 19% increase – in line with the Biden administration’s commitment to making it easier for immigrants to naturalize. If finalized, the rule could also decrease filing costs for low-income immigrants applying for certain benefits.
Below is a breakdown of the key fee changes in the new proposal:
The proposed fee hikes are expected, since the agency is required to review its immigration fee structure every two years. USCIS receives roughly 96% of its funding from filing fees, and hasn’t introduced new fees since 2016. The cash-strapped agency is facing staffing challenges and an ever-increasing application backlog. USCIS Director Ur M. Jaddou stated that the new fee structure would allow the agency to “improve customer service operations and manage the incoming workload.”