US increases immigration costs


The United States of America is planning to raise the cost of their Green Card by 10 percent this coming September.

The rise will see the price of a US Green Card go up to $985 from $940. Other changes and fee increases are also expected as the US reviews its immigration system. It’s thought that temporary residence applications could double in cost, going up to $1,030 from $420, and that an investors visa, something that previously came with no fee, could now cost $6,230.

The US Citizenship and Immigration Services Department (USCIS) reviews its system every two years to see if the fees area appropriately covering the costs, almost the entire USCIS budget is made up from the fees paid by new applicants.

The rise in fees comes as fee revenue has been in slow decline, 2008 and 2009 both showed low returns, more of the same is expected in 2010. However, the application fees for US citizenship will remain at $595.

A spokesman for USCIS said: “We are mindful of the effect of a fee increase on the communities we serve and have worked hard to minimise the size of the proposed increase through budget cuts and other measures. Requesting and obtaining U.S. citizenship deserves special consideration given the unique nature of this benefit to the individual applicant, the significant public benefit to the nation, and the nation’s proud tradition of welcoming new citizens.”