The Trump Administration is going to increase U.S. immigration filing fees and, unless there is new litigation, the new fees will go into effect on October 2nd. Some of the increases are significant and you are encouraged to file petitions as soon as possible to avoid the higher fees.
There were over seventy (70) petitions listed in the August 3rd Federal Register notice. The overall average increase is twenty percent (20%) but the fees for seventeen petitions will more than double and two petitions will increase by more than five hundred percent (500%).
The petitions used by most immigrants when they become Legal Resident or Green card holders and then naturalize to become U.S. citizens are going to cost more. Here is a sample:
I-130 Alien Relative Petition Fee increases on 5% from $535 to $560;
I-751 Remove Conditions increases on 28% from $595 to $760;
N-400 Naturalization Fee increases on 83% from $640 to $1170;
I-765 Employment increases on 34% from $410 to $550.
Beat the fee increase! Call Foley Law Offices today at (617) 850-9018 for a FREE telephone consultation.
Foley Law Offices, P.C.
August 9, 2020
In response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is extending the flexibilities it announced on March 30 to assist applicants and petitioners who are responding to certain:
- Requests for Evidence;
- Continuations to Request Evidence (N-14);
- Notices of Intent to Deny;
- Notices of Intent to Revoke;
- Notices of Intent to Rescind and Notices of Intent to Terminate regional investment centers; and
- Filing date requirements for Form I-290B, Notice of Appeal or Motion.
Notice/Request/Decision Issuance Date:
This flexibility applies to the above documents if the issuance date listed on the request, notice or decision is between March 1 and July 1, 2020, inclusive.
Response Due Date:
USCIS will consider a response to the above requests and notices received within 60 calendar days after the response due date set in the request or notice before taking action. USCIS will consider a Form I-290B received up to 60 calendar days from the date of the decision before it takes any action.
USCIS is adopting several measures to protect our workforce and community and to minimize the immigration consequences for those seeking immigration benefits during this time.
USCIS will provide further updates as the situation develops and will continue to follow CDC guidance. Education and precautions are the strongest tools against COVID-19 infection. Please visit uscis.gov/coronavirus for latest facts and other USCIS updates.
As suspected, the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Service (USCIS) is not going to re-open anytime soon. In the release copied below, USCIS confirms it will be closed at least until June 4th. If the pandemic situation is no better by then, the closing will be extended.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: Is this going to affect my case?
A: Yes. There will be longer delays. Please be patient.
Q: Is this just USCIS-Boston?
A: No, this closure covers the entire United States. While USCIS Officers are working from home, all offices are closed to the general public. There will be no interviews, no oath ceremonies, no biometric appointments. USCIS is closed.
Q: Is there anything you can do to get my case through the USCIS system?
Q: As we wait for our appointment/interview, what should I do?
A: Continue to create and collect evidence to document the bona fides of your case. Continue to take photographs to document your relationship, save pay stubs, save insurance paperwork, save anything with both of your names on it to prove you are a real couple.
Q: What else should I be doing?
A: You should be taking care of yourself and your family. The best way to do that is to stay at home so you don’t catch the virus. Be safe.
Q: If I have specific questions about my situation, can we talk?
A: Yes. Just call my cell phone number or send me an e-mail if you want to FaceTime.
We have been fielding calls having to do with a wide variety of issues. If you have a problem and you don’t know what to do, please let us help you. Call me at (617) 378-8540.
Thanks & Be Well!
Foley Law Offices, P.C.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services today announced that it will reuse previously submitted biometrics in order to process valid Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, extension requests due to the temporary closure of Application Support Centers (ASC) to the public in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. This announcement is consistent with existing USCIS authorities regarding the agency’s ability to reuse previously submitted biometrics.
Applicants who had an appointment scheduled with an ASC on or after the March 18 closure or has filed an I-765 extension will have their application processed using previously submitted biometrics. This will remain in effect until ASCs are open for appointments to the public.
Over the years, I have suggested USCIS use fingerprints already in the system instead of having the same applicants come back to the ASC office. Most applicants visit a ASC center THREE times! When only one visit would serve the purpose.
In addition to being more convenient for the Applicant, think of the savings on the USCIS side! They would be able to cut 2/3rds of the biometric appointments, 2/3rds of the notices sent by snail mail and 2/3rds of the headaches to overworked and under paid USCIS staff.
Speaking of USCIS staff, the ASC office in Revere, Massachusetts is managed by Mr. A. As any immigration lawyer in New England can tell you, Mr. A. is a problem solver. He answers when called and he helps when he can. One of the many people working to make our immigration system work from the inside.
Wash your hands! Be safe!
I hope many of you have seen this, but thanks to AILA’s continued advocacy, CIS has agreed to accept original signatures. More to come, we hope, regarding other requests, such as 90 day extensions on RFE, NOID, etc.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services today announced that, due to the ongoing COVID-19 National Emergency announced by President Trump on March 13, 2020, we will accept all benefit forms and documents with reproduced original signatures, including the Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker, for submissions dated March 21, 2020, and beyond.
USCIS already accepts various petitions, applications and other documents bearing an electronically reproduced original signature. This means that a document may be scanned, faxed, photocopied, or similarly reproduced provided that the copy must be of an original document containing an original handwritten signature, unless otherwise specified. For forms that require an original “wet” signature, per form instructions, USCIS will accept electronically reproduced original signatures for the duration of the National Emergency. This temporary change only applies to signatures. All other form instructions should be followed when completing a form.
Individuals or entities that submit documents bearing an electronically reproduced original signature must also retain copies of the original documents containing the “wet” signature. USCIS may, at any time, request the original documents, which if not produced, could negatively impact the adjudication of the immigration benefit.
We sent the message below to Foley Law Offices clients who have interviews scheduled with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service. The bottom line is the USCIS is closed at least until April 1st.
I am writing to inform you that your upcoming interview with USCIS has been cancelled. USCIS has canceled all “in person” interviews, including naturalization ceremonies, until April 1st.
You do not have to do anything. USCIS will re-schedule all appointments when it is safe to resume interviews. We will put you on a 30-day calendar and continue to update you as we move forward together.
Foley Law Offices will remain open but most communication will be via email and telephone. If you have specific questions about your case, please email me ([email protected]) or if you would prefer to discuss your situation, call me at (617) 378-8540.
Copied below is the stakeholders email I received from USCIS announcing the shut down. Please use this down time to continue to collect evidence (ie: bank statements, photographs, etc.) of the bona-fides of your case.
Be safe! We will get though this together.
Foley Law Offices, P.C.
10 Post Office Square
Suite 800 South
Boston, MA 02109
Ph: (617) 850-9018
Cell: (617) 378-8540
Effective March 18, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is suspending routine in-person services at its field offices, asylum offices, and Application Support Centers (ASCs) to help slow the spread of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). This suspension of public service will be in effect until at least April 1.
Educating yourself and practicing good hygiene are the strongest tools against infection. Get the latest facts by visiting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) COVID-19 website.
USCIS Contact Center
As of March 18, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has suspended routine in-person services until at least April 1 to help slow the spread of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). USCIS staff will continue to perform duties that do not involve contact with the public. However, USCIS will provide emergency services for limited situations. To schedule an emergency appointment contact the USCIS Contact Center.
USCIS domestic field offices will send notices to applicants and petitioners with scheduled appointments and naturalization ceremonies impacted by this closure.
When USCIS again resumes normal operations, USCIS will automatically reschedule Application Support Center appointments due to the office closure. You will receive a new appointment letter in the mail.
Want some good news for a change? A bill which could give Irish citizens access to thousands of US visas every year has been passed by the U.S. House of Representatives.
Once again, it was Massachusetts Congressman Richard Neal pushing the buttons that lead to a unanimous voice vote in the House last week that could lead to Ireland being added to the E-3 visa program. The legislation now moves to the U.S. Senate where only one senator (Tom Cotton of Arkansas) blocked it two years ago.
Sources close to Congressman Neal and to the Irish government tell me there has been a lot of behind the scenes politicking and they are confident of a unanimous Senate vote. The bill would then be sent to President Trump and the consensus is that he will sign it into law.
If it becomes law, it opens a legal path to the United States for thousands of Irish citizens. Under the current law, only Australian citizens can apply for the 10,500 E-3 visas that are available every year. The Irish would get the ones not used by the Australians. In recent years, about half (5,500) have gone unused.
An E-3 visa means legal employment but it does not lead to Legal Residency/Green card and it is not for everyone. In order to qualify, applicants must be employed in a speciality occupation, have a legitimate offer of employment in the U.S. and possess the necessary academic or other qualifying credentials.
The Irish Government is working on a reciprocal arrangement, which would ease restrictions on Americans who wish to retire to Ireland and enable U.S. citizens to work in Ireland on a similar basis.
E-3 visas are for two years, but can be renewed indefinitely. They allow the spouses of recipients to work in the U.S., but not their children.
In order to qualify, applicants must be employed in a speciality occupation, have a legitimate offer of employment in the U.S. and possess the necessary academic or other qualifying credentials.
There’s no indication when the U.S. Senate will take up the legislation but it is being pushed aggressively by the Irish government and Irish-American leaders in Congress