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US to raise naturalization application fees by $500

July 31, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

The Trump administration is dramatically increasing fees for dozens of immigration and work applications, including a more than 80 percent increase on naturalization applications and a first-time fee for asylum applicants.

(CNN)The Trump administration is dramatically increasing fees for dozens of immigration and work applications, including a more than 80 percent increase on naturalization applications and a first-time fee for asylum applicants.

US Citizenship and Immigration Services, the agency responsible for the country's immigration and naturalization system, updated and finalized its fee structure after a nearly nine month review.

The naturalization fee will represent the full cost to process the application, the agency says, plus a proportional share of overhead costs, a change from previous policy.

Historically, asylum seekers around the world are not subject to application fees, according to the Migration Policy Institute.

Unlike most federal agencies, USCIS receives most of its funding from fee collection.

However, the new fees, which are assessed by law every two years, are unrelated to the current budget shortfall, according to a USCIS spokesperson.

"These overdue adjustments in fees are necessary to efficiently and fairly administer our nation's lawful immigration system, secure the homeland and protect Americans," said Joseph Edlow, USCIS deputy director for policy, in a statement.

Trump administration policy changes at USCIS have brought the ire of immigration activists, lawmakers and the agency's own union members.

Additionally, USCIS lowered its proposed genealogy fees, which included an increase for historical records of deceased immigrants who came to the United States between the late-19th and mid-20th centuries.

Under the USCIS Genealogy Program, anyone who's interested can obtain naturalization certificates, alien registration forms, visa applications and other records of immigrants from the late 1800s to the mid-1950s.

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