In an effort to balance it books and thus improve services and turnaround times, the USCIS has published notice of its plan to adjust some benefit fees for immigrants. Fees have not been adjusted since 2016 and USCIS revenue continues to fall short of its operating expenses. USCIS depends on fees to fund its operations and does not receive government funding.
The plan is for the adjusted fees to provide additional revenue to cover costs associated with mandatory federal payroll increases, additional asylum program funding, expansion of some benefit and humanitarian programs, increasing staffing and other program investments including technology updates. A portion of the new revenue is proposed to come from employers who are seeking to hire foreign workers.
While some fees will increase, others will remain the same or decline such as fees related to low income or vulnerable populations along with fees for some humanitarian programs and certain forms that are filled out online.
There is a mandatory 60-day comment period about to commence that allows the public to comment on the new proposals. Analysts feel that some employers may push back and/or sue regarding the employer fee increases (some as high as 70%) based on the questionable legality of being mandated to pay fees related to asylum.