The USCIS on Friday, May 15, sent a request to Congress for $1.2 billion in emergency funding, proposing to pay it back with a 10% surcharge on application filing fees. The immigration service is entirely funded by these filing fees and has seen a significant drop in applications due to the coronavirus pandemic. It said in the statement it expects a 61% drop in revenue through the end of the fiscal year.

While the USCIS has continued to adjudicate applications at its processing centers, the State Department has temporarily halted most visa processing and travel to the U.S. continues to be restricted. It has not indicated any plans for layoffs or furloughs.
This surcharge, if adopted, will entail greater expense for employers and applicants along with the expectation of further-decreased processing times.

Earlier this year, the USCIS placed a temporary halt on its Premium Processing service, slowing decisions on those applications eligible for it.

For more information about these and other immigration issues, please contact the author of this alert, James G. Aldrich, Jr., at [email protected] or 248-203-0583.

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