21% Increase In H1B Visa Fees Stopped By A Judge As Trump Govt Has No Justification
As per the report, a US federal judge, Jeffrey White has granted a motion for a preliminary injunction that bars the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) from implementing a new fee structure from October 2.
Visa Fee Rise
Prior to this, the basic application fee for a visa was set to increase to $555.
Which is nearly 21% more from the existing $460.
While the base filing fees for L-1 visas (used for intracompany transfers) has increased significantly by 75% to $805.
Further, the fees for applying for citizenship were proposed to rise sharply by 83% from $640 to $1,170.
Apart from this, an unprecedented asylum application fee of $50 was also introduced.
Legal Actions Against Visa Fees Hike
In response to this, eight non-profit organizations, including the Immigrant Legal Resource Center, who provide a variety of immigration-related services to low-income applicants, had moved to court to file a lawsuit.
According to them, all the fee increases on the grounds that these fees were proposed and issued under officials who were not properly appointed to their positions and therefore fee hike rules were unlawful.
The concerned officials are Chad Wolf – the Acting Secretary of the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Kevin McAleenan – the former Acting Secretary.
Further, the lawsuit mentioned that the increase in fees harms the most vulnerable in the society considering citizenship application fee and asylum fees.
“The court found two reasons to halt the increase in the fees. The first was a legally inappropriate appointment of the high-level government officials who made the decision to increase the fee. Second, it was the inability of the government to explain the need for the fees increase. Despite the government’s efforts to localize the impact of the ruling, the court has, for the moment, imposed a nationwide stay on the fee hike,” said Rajiv S. Khanna, Arlington based, managing attorney at Immigration.com.