14 June 2010

US immigration fee hikes protested by advocates

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Advocates for immigrant rights have objected to the proposed fee increases by US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), saying they send a message to immigrants that they are not wanted here.

US immigration

US Immigration fee hikes will be opposed by immigrant adovates.

US Immigration plan to increase fees on permanent residency, also known as green card applications by $50, making the fee $985. Biometric fingerprinting, which is required for most immigration applications including the green card, will also increase from $80 to $85 dollars.

Application fees for a temporary residence US visa, such as for students, will go up drastically by $420 dollars to $1,030.

 “It’s becoming clear that in order to benefit from the immigration system, that wealth is a defacto requirement,” said Christopher Punongbayan of the Asian law Caucus.

“The key thing that is missing from this proposed fee increase is a fee waiver so individuals who are on fixed income-low income or no income or otherwise can’t afford it can still benefit from all the immigration services,” Punongbayan told Balitang America.

Immigrant advocates will use the 45-day public comment period to raise their objections to the increase.

The American Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people make US visa applications to the US Embassy.

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