CLINIC Responds to the New USCIS Fee Schedules

SILVER SPRING, Maryland — On Jan. 31, 2024, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published the "Final Rule U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Fee Schedule and Changes to Certain Other Immigration Benefit Request Requirements."

"We appreciate the hard work and solicitation of public comment from organizations like CLINIC that has gone into the Fee Schedule decision," said Anna Gallagher Executive Director of the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc., (CLINIC). In response to public comment, DHS expanded fee exemptions for some of our most vulnerable populations, including Special Immigrant Juveniles and survivors of human trafficking, crime, and domestic violence, and others seeking humanitarian immigration relief. DHS also ultimately provided special fee discounts for nonprofit organizations and small business employers.

Unfortunately, although some of the fee increases in the Final Rule are less than originally proposed, many of our immigrant friends and neighbors, particularly those seeking to reunify with family and maintain family unity, will still be financially impacted. "While it's crucial for USCIS to have the necessary operating funds to carry out its critical work, it's paramount that these burdensome costs do not fall upon our immigrant brothers and sisters, who are often in dire need of support," Gallagher continued.

CLINIC urges Congress to do away with this unique fee-funded model and appropriate funds to USCIS.

This Final Rule will take effect on April 1, 2024 — CLINIC will review information as it becomes available and will alert and educate its Affiliate Network.