The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ (USCIS) has proposed several fee increases that would make immigration benefits much less accessible to our low-income immigrant students, staff, and families, including Deferred Action of Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients, lawful permanent residents (LPRs), and those applying for LPR status. We need your help to oppose these fee increases by submitting public comments to USCIS by December 30th.
The Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration and CCCIE have created this template for higher education institutions to submit individual comments regarding the impact of the proposed fee schedule on students, families, prospective students, or other community members at your institution; your institution’s programs and mission; and higher education more broadly. The proposed fee increases would severely impact low-income community college students, who often face unique financial challenges and experience difficulty in marshaling the financial resources to pay for college tuition and fees.
Among the changes USCIS has proposed:
- Increase in citizenship application fee from $640 to $1170 (an 83% increase)
- Increase in DACA renewal fee from $495 to $765 (a 55% increase)
- Increase in adjustment of LPR status from $1,225 to $2,195 (a 79% increase)
- A new charge of $50 for asylum application
- Elimination of fee waivers for applications for citizenship, adjustment of status, green card replacement and renewals (Form I-90), and employment authorization.
We urge you to submit your comments as soon as possible. While the Presidents’ Alliance and CCCIE will submit a comment letter, the number of individualized comments can make a big difference. You can view and download the template comment here, along with suggestions of how to individualize for your campus. USCIS is required by law to carefully review, weigh, and respond to comments.
You can read the actual text of the proposed rule here and a brief helpful analysis by the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC) here. We are also pleased to share these other CLINIC resources: a guide to learn more about the federal rulemaking process and how your comment fits into this broader process, and CLINIC’s toolkit on the proposed fee schedule including talking points and sample social media posts. If your institution submits a comment, please share the comment with us at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Comment Letter on Fee Schedule for [College Name] so we can keep track of comments.