U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) had recently requested US Congress for additional funding of $1.2 billion to avoid furloughs that were slated initially for August 3, 2020, and later moved to August 30, 2020.
GLF is pleased to report that USCIS has called off (via its announcement of August 25, 2020) the planned furloughs by instituting deep budget cuts.
House of Representatives had passed a Bill (H.R. 8089) named “The Emergency Stopgap USCIS Stabilization Act,” to temporarily prevent furloughs by increasing USCIS premium processing fees and adding new premium processing categories. However, given that furloughs have now been called off, it is unclear whether H.R. 8089 will pass. The urgency of the Bill was the looming furloughs from August 30, 2020.
GLF will monitor the situation and keep you updated on the progress of the passage of H.R. 8089.
WHAT IS IN THIS BILL?
On August 22, 2020, The House of Representatives passed a Bill (H.R.8089) named “The Emergency Stopgap USCIS Stabilization Act” increasing the current premium processing fees for various processes and expanding the premium process services to other programs.
The Bill is intended for:
▪ If enacted into law the Bill would permit USCIS to generate additional income through this fee as an alternative to USCIS’ recent request for $1.2 billion from Government; and
▪ Expanding Premium Processing Services to other categories would help immigrants and employers to quickly expedite their petitions under the newly added categories.
WHAT ARE THE PROPOSED CHANGES IN THE BILL?
The Bill proposes to increase the premium processing fees for applications from $ 1440 to 2500. Further, it proposes to extend the premium processing services to newer visa categories as well. The bill proposes to expand the premium processing services to the following categories:
- EB-1 Multinational Managers and EB-2 National Interest Waivers: Processing fees will be not greater than $2500 and processing time will be not greater than 45 days;
- I-539 COS to F, J or M: Processing fees will not be greater than $ 1750 and processing time will be not greater than 30 days;
- I-539 dependents of E, H, L, O, P and R: Processing fees will be not greater than $ 1750 and processing time will be not greater than 30 days;
- I-765 EAD: Processing fees will not be greater than $ 1500 and processing time will not be greater than 30 days; and
- Certain I-130 categories: Processing fees will not be greater than $ 2500 and processing time will not be greater than 45 days.
Now the Bill is passed by the House of Representatives it will be placed before the Senate and is expected to be passed by next week.
Through this Bill, USCIS hopes to raise additional revenues leading to expanded and more reliable services. Fees may be used to address backlogs and adjudication delays for other applicants. However, the increase in the premium processing fees from 1440 to $ 2500 will be really a blow to the immigrants who are already financially affected by the current pandemic.
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At GLF will continue to follow further developments in this and other matters and we will provide updates through our Newsletter as and when they become available. GLF receives numerous emails and phone calls every day asking for comment on various proposed bills and media reports that are often inaccurate. It is our job to separate fact from fiction and advice clients on important updates that are relevant. The best way to receive accurate information is through GLF Newsletters.
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