Immigrant application fee to increase in February

On Thursday, September 23, Grand Canyon National Park in coordination with The Department of Homeland Security, hosted a naturalization ceremony at the Mather Amphitheatre on the South Rim. This is the first time in history that Grand Canyon National Park has hosted such an event. Under blue skies and before a breathtaking view, 23 individuals from 12 different countries including, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Japan, Mexico, Morocco, Australia, Trinidad and Tobago, Uruguay, Venezuela, Vietnam and Zambia, became naturalized citizens. Many family members and close friends of the candidates came to show their support for this special event. Park employees and visitors also watched on as the candidates stated the Oath of Allegiance, and received their certificates of naturalization. Deputy Superintendent Palma Wilson welcomed the candidates and their families.  The Presentation of Colors was done by the Air Force ROTC Honor Guard of Northern Arizona University. John M. Ramirez, Acting District Director for the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) administered the Oath of Allegiance to America's newest citizens.  A keynote address was given by USCIS Ombudsman January Contreras. Ms. Contreras stated, ?Everyday, we welcome new and diverse stories and heritages into the great patchwork of our Nation. United by our devotion to the Constitution and to the civic engagement it inspires, Americans remain committed to the fundamental principles established over two hundred years ago.?This event is part of USCIS?s annual celebration of Constitution Day and Citizenship Day. An estimated 9,258 candidates will become citizens at 63 special ceremonies held across the country and around the world from Sept. 13-24.Constitution Day is celebrated on Sept. 17 in remembrance of the signing of the Constitution in 1787. Since 1952, Citizenship Day has been celebrated in conjunction with Constitution Day, although Congress first underscored the significance. (Image courtesy of Flickr.)

On Thursday, September 23, Grand Canyon National Park in coordination with The Department of Homeland Security, hosted a naturalization ceremony at the Mather Amphitheatre on the South Rim. This is the first time in history that Grand Canyon National Park has hosted such an event. Under blue skies and before a breathtaking view, 23 individuals from 12 different countries including, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Japan, Mexico, Morocco, Australia, Trinidad and Tobago, Uruguay, Venezuela, Vietnam and Zambia, became naturalized citizens. Many family members and close friends of the candidates came to show their support for this special event. Park employees and visitors also watched on as the candidates stated the Oath of Allegiance, and received their certificates of naturalization. Deputy Superintendent Palma Wilson welcomed the candidates and their families. The Presentation of Colors was done by the Air Force ROTC Honor Guard of Northern Arizona University. John M. Ramirez, Acting District Director for the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) administered the Oath of Allegiance to America’s newest citizens. A keynote address was given by USCIS Ombudsman January Contreras. Ms. Contreras stated, “Everyday, we welcome new and diverse stories and heritages into the great patchwork of our Nation. United by our devotion to the Constitution and to the civic engagement it inspires, Americans remain committed to the fundamental principles established over two hundred years ago.” This event is part of USCIS’s annual celebration of Constitution Day and Citizenship Day. An estimated 9,258 candidates will become citizens at 63 special ceremonies held across the country and around the world from Sept. 13-24.Constitution Day is celebrated on Sept. 17 in remembrance of the signing of the Constitution in 1787. Since 1952, Citizenship Day has been celebrated in conjunction with Constitution Day, although Congress first underscored the significance. (Image courtesy of Flickr.)

Submitted by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

 

A new immigrant fee will be charged by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services on February 2013.

 

Beginning Feb. 1, a $165 immigrant fee will be collected from individuals who have been issued immigrant visas by the U.S. Department of State and seek permanent residence in the United States, according to USCIS.

 

Applicants will now have two separate fees to pay. They are still required to pay the DOS visa application processing fee, and will now also have to pay the USCIS immigrant fee.

 

The USCIS immigrant fee was established in a USCIS announcement adjusting fees for immigration applications and petitions on Sept. 24, 2010. Any applicant on or after Feb. 1 receives an immigrant visa package from a United States consulate or embassy abroad including Canada and Mexico are required to pay both the DOS application processing fee and the USCIS Immigrant Fee.

 

The new immigrant fee will cover the cost of processing performed in the United States after applicants receive their visa packages from DOS and are admitted to the United States, according to the USCIS.

 

However, this fee does not apply to immigrants entering the United States under intercountry adoption programs. As a result, children admitted into the United States under the Orphan or Hague Adoptions process are exempt from the USCIS Immigrant Fee. USCIS will consider including the cost of processing immigrant visas for overseas adoptees the next time there is an adjustment to the fee schedule.

 

To simplify the process, immigrant visa holders applying for admission to the United States are required to pay the USCIS Immigrant Fee online through the official website, which is pay.gov. Payments should be submitted after applicants receive their visa packages from DOS and before they leave for the United States.

 

Applicants can electronically submit the fee by answering the questions on the USCIS website by providing their checking account, debit card or credit card information. All check payments must be drawn on a U.S. bank. If the applicant is unable to make the payment, another person can make the payment on the applicant’s behalf.

 

Failure to pay does not directly affect lawful status of the applicant. However, it is important for applicants to make the payment in time, since they will not receive a green card until the required immigrant fee is paid, according to USCIS. Failure to obtain the permanent resident card will make it difficult for any individual to show authorization to work legally in the United States or to return to the United States from temporary foreign travel.

 

For more information, please visit www.USCIS.gov/immigrantfee.

This post is also available in: Chinese

About Ling-Mei Wong 黃靈美

Editor of the Sampan, the only bilingual Chinese-English newspaper in New England 舢舨報紙總編輯。舢舨是全紐英倫唯一的中英雙語雙週報。
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