Green Card 

Immigration fees go up.

Some say freedom is priceless, but for U.S. immigrants, citizenship has a price — and it's one that just got substantially higher.

On July 30th, the cost of applying to be a U.S. citizen — and all of the prerequisite steps — increased for the first time in almost 10 years.

"Our operating costs have gone up," says Dan Kane, spokesman for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

The fee for U.S. naturalization has more than doubled, from $330 to $675. The application fee to become a permanent resident has increased even more: from $325 to $930.

Kane saw a number of people hurry to finish the process before the new rates took effect. But even after the hike, Kane doesn't think the higher rates will deter immigrants.

"These people are very interested in becoming U.S. citizens, and for them, there's no price tag on American citizenship," he says.

Like Kane, Alvin King noticed a swell of immigrants trying to finish applications before the new rates. King is secretary/treasurer of Visa and Immigration Services Assistance (VISA), which helps immigrants complete citizenship applications.

"Most are applying for the things leading up to citizenship," King says, such as the U.S. permanent resident card, commonly called a green card. Once $190, the green card application fee is now $370.

Many people who didn't get applications in before the fees changed have stopped in the middle of the process.

"These people are working and legal," King says. "Their reaction is, What can we do? They don't have a congressman. They don't have any recourse."

King points out that the increases don't take factors such as income into consideration.

"Immigrants are not used to being treated fairly. But this puts fees out of reach, almost," King says.

José Trejo, who moved to the States from Mexico in 1980, came to VISA to renew his green card and ask about bringing his wife and two children to the States.

"I should have come last month. It's a lot of money," Trejo says.

Speaking of...


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

    • Makers Marked

      New study maps makers and their needs.
    • Cyber Ca$h

      Will the city’s first Bitcoin ATM normalize electronic currency?
    • Crime, I-240, & #ThanksgivingInJail

      New crime figures are out, the flyover is open, and many spent the holiday behind bars.


Fly On The Wall Blog

Tony Allen's Big D Beats Stiff Competition

Intermission Impossible

Naughty & Nice: What's on Stage this Christmas?

News Blog

Etsy Declares Memphis an "Official Maker City"

Politics Beat Blog

Rep. Ellison, Frontrunner in DNC Race, to be Honored Here

Politics Beat Blog

Cohen Introduces Amendment to Scrap Electoral College

Hungry Memphis

Long Road Cider Opening this Weekend

Intermission Impossible

Three Questions with "Santaland Diaries" Star Jonathan Christian

Tiger Blue

Tigers 84, Jackson State 69


More by Rachel Stinson

Readers also liked…

© 1996-2016

Contemporary Media
460 Tennessee Street, 2nd Floor | Memphis, TN 38103
Visit our other sites: Memphis Magazine | Memphis Parent | Inside Memphis Business
Powered by Foundation