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11 June 2010

Director Mayorkas on Proposed Fee Rule

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has posted to the Federal Register its proposed fee rule that would adjust fees for immigration benefit applications and petitions. The proposed fee rule will be available for public comment at regulations.gov on Friday, June 11.

I have previously shared with the public that our fee revenue in fiscal years 2008 and 2009 was much lower than projected, and fee revenue in fiscal year 2010 remains low. While USCIS did receive appropriations from Congress, budget cuts of approximately $160 million have not bridged the remaining gap between costs and anticipated revenue. A fee adjustment, as detailed in the proposed rule, is necessary to ensure USCIS recovers the costs of its operations while also meeting the application processing goals identified in the 2007 fee rule.

As a result of the cuts we have implemented, the proposed fee rule would increase overall fees by a weighted average of about 10 percent.

The proposed fee structure would establish three new fees, including a fee for regional center designations under the Immigrant Investor Pilot Program, a fee for individuals seeking civil surgeon designation and a fee to recover USCIS's cost of processing immigrant visas granted by the Department of State. The proposed fee structure also reduces fees for certain individual applications and petitions as a result of lower processing costs.

Requesting and obtaining U.S. citizenship deserves special consideration given the unique nature of this benefit to the individual applicant, the significant public benefit to the nation, and the nation’s proud tradition of welcoming new citizens. Recognizing the unique importance of naturalization, we propose that the naturalization application fee not be increased.

I encourage you to submit formal comments on the proposed rule, which is available at regulations.gov. The comment period runs for 45 days beginning on June 11, 2010.

Your comments will inform and help shape the final rule. Additional detail on the methodology and data USCIS used to develop these fees will be available at regulations.gov on June 11, 2010.

We at USCIS understand the effect of a fee increase on many of the communities we serve, especially in these economically challenging times. We have worked hard to minimize the size of the fee increase, and we will continue to do so. We will also continue to work hard to provide you with the level of service you deserve, a level befitting our nation as a beacon of hope and opportunity for people from all over the world, now and for generations to come.

Alejandro N. Mayorkas

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70 Comments:

At June 11, 2010 at 2:23:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sir Mayorkas,

With all due respect, I appologize if EB3 ROW category has been over discusses. I just have a question that I hope you can address in the next posts.

According to I485 Inventory Data and DOS Employment Cut Off dates for EB3 ROW there are just few thousands I485 applications for 2003 and 2004. Still the demand is high for 2003 and Visa bulleting PD remains in 2003.

Please help us understand where the demand numbers is coming from and why the I485 pending iventory does not reflect that demand. How can we estimate with bigger precision on how the PD movement will be in EB3 ROW case.

Thanks

 
At June 11, 2010 at 2:29:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

While it is understandable that USCIS does have a budget gap, please understand the dire situation that immigrants face.

A new GC process from scratch with lawer fees is already 10K plus thousand dollars. Then there are EAD renewal fees. H1B extension fees.

On top of that H4 wifes are not able to work. Most of us have children.

The increase in USCIS fees already put a great burden on our family budgets.

Often people are stuck in EB backlog for years, they have to move on in their career because from business perspective employers/jobs change in 2-3 years while Eb backlog is 10 years. There are many people that have started a second GC process. And that is another 10K dollars.

The immigration fees are high already. There is no need to burden and exploit immigrants further.

 
At June 11, 2010 at 2:55:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sir Mayorkas,

I know it is not in your direct powers. But you do however have frequent meetings with lawmakers in Washington. Please tell them that VISA Recapture bill is the solution and path forward. It will eliminate backlogs and increase revenue for USCIS.

Please inform senators about the VISA recapture bill and that USCIS is ready to handle it. Please suggest them the way out of the backlog misery. I am sure they will take your advise.

I watched your meeting in Washington with senators on C-SPAN. I had a feeling they like you in Washington. But you did not offer them direct solutions to our problems. Please be bold and tell them. I hope u did mention about VISA recapture behind the scenes :)

We know that you like immigrants. Please secretly support us.

http://www.immigration-information.com/forums/blogs/ron-gotcher/39-stick-a-fork-in-it-cir-is-done.html

 
At June 11, 2010 at 5:01:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Increasing fees for green cards is not fair especially when the effort to clear backlogs are none from USCIS department. Otherwise how else can the fee increase be jusitifed when unused visa numbers in a fiscal year(spillover visa numbers) are allocated to more recent visa categories, when the severly backlogged categories are unattended.

These fee increases will be a burden on companies which has been struggling to retain employees who possess the company's business knowledge as these employees leave due to heavy backlogs.

When many american citizens/gc holders refuse to join small business enterprise due to lack of benefits, it is the immigrants who keep them afloat. On top of them having to endure severe wait times due to EB3 category backlog which is a punishment for the company too due to high legal fees associated, now increasing the USCIS fees does not make sense.

What makes sense is, a fee structure which is also divided and allocated based on EB categories / FB categories. This will ensure uniformity of fees from all categories. Hope USCIS is listening to small business owners of USA and the problems they go through.

 
At June 12, 2010 at 2:33:00 AM EDT , Anonymous JoeF said...

"On top of that H4 wifes are not able to work. Most of us have children."

With all due respect, but the fact that spouses on H4 can't work has been known for 20 years. If you choose to go to the US despite knowing all that, you can't really blame CIS. Or did you neglect to do your due diligence before moving half-way around the world?

 
At June 12, 2010 at 2:37:00 AM EDT , Anonymous JoeF said...

Are the higher fees going to be used to combat abuse?
For example, F-1 status is given to people who have I-20s from non-accredited, fake "universities". While SEVIS doesn't require accreditation of an organization, such non-accredited organizations don't have academic programs, by definition, so people getting an I-20 from them shouldn't be able to get an F-1.

 
At June 12, 2010 at 8:03:00 AM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello USCIS,

Fee Increase is definitely a right move due to…

1. Keeps the non serious / frivolous applicants out of the mix.
2. USCIS can keep its operational level intact with correct level of applicants rather than having to resort to what was done in July 2007
3. Esp.Fee increase should be applied to H1 and EB categories so that corporates process GCs only to the deserving people rather than what is happening now.
4. For family based GCs – consider a tiered fee structure. For e.g 1st and 2nd preference on a similar structure. 3rd and 4th on a higher fee structure. This would again dissuade people with non serious intentions from applying
5. If a steep fee increase can keep the backlog low-That would be the best thing to do.
6. USCIS should increase its service levels..to justify for this fee increase..

 
At June 12, 2010 at 2:54:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

"With all due respect, but the fact that spouses on H4 can't work has been known for 20 years. If you choose to go to the US despite knowing all that, you can't really blame CIS. Or did you neglect to do your due diligence before moving half-way around the world?"

When I came to US I was not married to my wife. And by the way we are considering moving back to Europe. Good Luck!!!

 
At June 13, 2010 at 4:11:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh my God ! There you again, where in the world you keep on increasing fees and you have a very poor services. We are waiting for too long for our green card, please do something about it.

 
At June 13, 2010 at 10:37:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

How is possible that another increased is proposed when in 2007 the excuse for last increased was a better service and trying to clear the backlog...???? Shame on you USCIS!!! You're are the worse goverment agency in USA.!!! How is possible that USA can send people to the outspace and can not identify or approved the legal people who follow the rules. This country is great but you are killing the dreams of thousand immigrants. The congress should interpelate the USCIS and find why is this mess with the "LEGAL IMMIGRATION"

 
At June 14, 2010 at 10:53:00 AM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you have a provision that if a person waits in Eb backlog for 10 years and never gets to get his green card , USCIS returns the fees for I140 and other GC related expenses. I mean why one needs I140 if I485 was never filed?

 
At June 14, 2010 at 1:33:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am waiting for my green card under EB3 category for 8 years. I am stuck at the same job. It means I cannot get a promotion. With poor economy there is no pay increase either.

Now with USCIS fee increase, I have to pay more every year. It means I need to cut my family budget to stay here as LEGAL.

USCIS has powers to raise the fees. But it has no power to address the EB3 backlog.

 
At June 14, 2010 at 2:23:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. Mayorkas,

We will gladly give you our money. We have seen the changes with the increased transparency.

Here are a few suggestions that will help you and us
1. Provide 5 year EAD+AP documents. Most of the 2007 applicants will be glad to shell out the money now for the freedom from having to sit at home waiting for new documents, new drivers licenses etc. later.
2. Create a fee based detailed access system where we will be able to track our files down to location and officers working on them. Add another fee for us to get email interaction with the officer. Set up SLAs so that applicants will give you the money, rather than waste it on immigration lawyers and FOIA requests.
3. Work with DoS and whatever other agencies are involved, to allow applicants from retrogressed countries to file for their 485, upto 2009.

Lastly I would like to say, please keep up the great work you have been doing to whittle the backlogs.

Thanks

 
At June 14, 2010 at 3:59:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Brigitte L. Rau said...

Dear Director Mayorkas: I am an Immigration Consultant, working in Sacramento, CA. In regard to the fee increase, I believe that my clients would gladly pay the extra amount, if they can get their papers processed. I have clients waiting 18 years for their married sons or daughters of U.S. Citizen Father or Mother. The July priority dates now show that the category went back from June to March of 1992. This is a terrible long time to wait to legalize or process ones family. Please get those dates up to date and process the visas or adjustment of status in a shorter period or time. A real benefit would be to lift the 10 year bar for those that applied after April 30, 2001, and are married to U.S. citizens. It is a separation of families that no one can endure. I am sure that all of my clients would go to Cd. Juarez to pick up their visa if they were to process within 90 days. It is almost impossisble to meet the requirement of the hardship letter a family member must be on death's bed to get that one through. Let's be reasonable, let them in legally, without that long wait, 2 years 3 years, up to 10 years? It's too long. Let's make it 3 to 6 months. Respectfully submitted, Brigitte L. Rau.

 
At June 14, 2010 at 6:05:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Application processing delays/problems cannot be solved simply by fee hikes.
Even with the fee increases, application processing still remains the same.

 
At June 15, 2010 at 9:40:00 AM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is ridiculous!!!..Fee rise again...When the rise in fee back in 2007 did nothing good to people waiting in the line for years (Employment based line like EB3's) how can once expect another round of fee increase will change the situation.

I can understand that most of the revenue for USCIS is generated from us standing in the line for years and years(just extending the non-immigrant status even though I-140 is approved), come on just think for a while is it any good to make a person stick to the same job/stand in the line for 15-20 years for the sake of just getting a GC, and all that being legally in this country paying all taxes and taking zero benifits.

Try to ask this question yourselves.

 
At June 15, 2010 at 9:43:00 AM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Last time USCIS commented on this blog that they are looking into the aspect of allowing H4 visa holders (dependents of H1b's) to work. We haven't heard abt that since then??. Can you pls address this issue.

Pls level the playing field, on one hand dependents of L visa holders can work and on the other hand dependents of H visa holders cannot work, this doesn't seem fair on the land of opportunities.

 
At June 15, 2010 at 12:52:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

"3. Esp.Fee increase should be applied to H1 and EB categories so that ...only to the deserving people...
4. For family based GCs – consider a tiered fee structure. For e.g 1st and 2nd preference on a similar structure..."
I absolutely agree with this statement.
Additionally I propose that the price for drivers licenses should be based on the IQ of the applicant, because smarter drivers cause fewer accidents.
And the price for a passport should be based on the age of the document holder. Older people are certainly more deserving of a passport and should pay a cheaper price.

 
At June 15, 2010 at 1:00:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

You should improve the meager efficiency of the department to provide the service we already pay for instead of just trying to lift more money off your customers.

 
At June 15, 2010 at 1:00:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a european I was a big supporter of healthcare reform and a public option. but seeing the performance of USCIS I'm glad if the US government is as far away as possible from my health.

I don't want to wait 6 years for a surgery like I have to wait for a green card.

I also don't want to have constant fee-increases for continued bad services.

 
At June 15, 2010 at 6:37:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

It seems to me that everyone on this blog supported the fee increase. That's the way to go!

 
At June 15, 2010 at 7:46:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

i think uscis should do visa recapture bill for approx 200,000 plus cases and they should expedite all the eb3/eb2 cases by fy 2010 and chg each applicant 1000.00 usd extra for expedite cases by 2010, which i dont think anybody has objection.
with this 200000(cases)x1000(usd)=200,000,000 usd
there budget shortfall of about $200 million for the coming fiscal year will be recovered

 
At June 17, 2010 at 8:51:00 AM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really welcome the efforts for increased transparency and efficiency and I am noticing results. The fee increases are nominal and acceptable. I wish the USCIS would offer some relief for employment-based backlogs via an administrative fix to recapture wasted visas from 2001-2007. While one understands that USCIS does not make laws, the actions of USCIS directly bear upon what solutions are offered by law makers.

 
At June 17, 2010 at 11:33:00 AM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

VISA recapture bill is the lawfull solution that everyone will benefit from. At this point EB3 are being processed from 2003. In 2003 very few VISA numbers were used. Visa number should be allocated at the Labor Certification stage. Why now all applications from 2003 are using 2010 visa numbers and not 2003 visa numbers. Why later generations have to suffer because of the backlogs created by paper based labor certification process. Is it USCIS job to work with lawmakers to enact needed legislative changes. USCIS will tap huge financial benefits from the VISA recapture process.

 
At June 17, 2010 at 1:09:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

This has to stop. I am a college student and my wife has a legal resident card and we are having to renew next year. The fees that you are currently charging are already a burden to my wife and I who are expecting a child. As it is we do not have the opportunity to receive medicaid support because she is not a citizen and has not been her for five years. The government keeps taking from me and at the end I will have nothing left. This is obscene.

 
At June 17, 2010 at 2:22:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Answer please.....
I remember the application of spillover visas was done based on priority dates instead of category. But in recent years I see this has changed to based on category.
For example the spillover visas from worldwide in employment based categories are applied to EB2 first instead of EB3, which is much more retrogressed then EB2. Why is this unfair decision? This is not something decided by congress, it's purely unders USCIS control. Why can't this be done in a fair manner by providing the spillover visas to the cases with the oldest priority dates first (irrespective of category/country).

 
At June 17, 2010 at 4:05:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Most blog articles posted on this site usually end up in an EB2/EB3 discussion and outcry - sometimes the topic is unrelated. People are hurting. USCIS, I think your main audience is crying out to you please listen to their cries! It's painful since I'm one of them.

 
At June 17, 2010 at 4:36:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

The law clearly says that 140,000 EB visa shuould be allocated if there is "demand" for it.

For the past few years from 2001, there was always demand for EB visa. But many visa numbers are wasted. Is this against the law or not?

If this is not right, then what is stopping USCIS to recapture those visas and allocate it to those are affected by the backlog?

 
At June 17, 2010 at 6:48:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Someone on this blog suggested USCIS to charge each applicant $1000 and recover budget shortfall this year...If you get green card this year will you pay USCIS next year (for EAD, AP etc.)? What will happen to their next year's budget? Try to understand. Every business wants their customers to come back!

 
At June 18, 2010 at 1:49:00 AM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

The budget shortfall can be easily fixed with employment-based visa recovery (of all wasted numbers over the past few years) without raising fees again. The best way to get filling numbers up again is if unused wasted visa numbers are recaptured, most EB categories will become current and a new influx of fresh cases (about 150,000) along with their fees ($1,010 each = $151,000,000) will generate enough revenue that could potentially result in a surplus.

Moreover, if the fee increase goes through, most of the raises will go to applicants who are stuck in the system due to USCIS negligence and delays. So basically, it will be taking more money from applicants because USCIS cannot adjudicate pending cases without visa number availability.

In 2007, USCIS fees were doubled and even tripled in some cases with the objective to "provide better service," yet USCIS not only did not provide better service but instead wasted even more visas, issued more baseless RFEs, NODs and NOIDs.

As with any problem, there are many solutions, by recovering visa numbers, USCIS will not only take care of the budget shortfall, but will fix the huge backlog that exists.

 
At June 18, 2010 at 11:37:00 AM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don;t undertand one thing. If you have a person that has been in US legally for 10 years either in EB or FB queue, do you expect that person will go back. His/her life is here, friends and family, most probably he will make everything possible to stay and he will. Why keep torturing this person and keeping in EB/FB queue? I am just trying to undertand the policy and the logic behind it???

 
At June 19, 2010 at 4:58:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

USCIS should strongly enforce the per country limit of Green cards (even spillover should be subject to per country limits). Else immigrants from certain countries will over-run the labor market in this country. To mitigate the pains of wait-listed people, USCIS can consider issuing EADs with 3 year validity after 140 approvals for primary applicant and spouse and charge a reasonable amount. This would mean 2 things…
a) Streamline a situation where applicants from a few countries over-run the entire legal immigration process
b) USCIS can gain steady revenue from applicants who are waiting in queue. In the process applicant can continue with his/her own life without having to worry about visas. Both primary and secondary applicant can work while they await their turn.
c) Increase the security on I-140 process to determine fake / fraudulent applicants

 
At June 20, 2010 at 12:07:00 AM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

What else USCIS can do other than fee increase???
Looks like everybody like low hanging fruit and nobody like to improve the efficiency and service level. Somebody said above the most of the comments under each topic of this blog has ended up at EB3 backlog. Is USCIS is listening what their customers are saying?? Increasing the fees is the easiest shameful step that this agency can take. This is the height. If USCIS is operating in private sector, it would have gone out-of-business on day one. But, unfortunately USCIS is fortunate being a government agency. Still, good luck to you USCIS.

 
At June 21, 2010 at 12:28:00 AM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Director Mayorkas,

We understand the short fall in the budget due to less people being able to move with immigration process (revenue), tight budget from CEO (our President's team) to control fiscal and high administrative costs due to past backlog clearance.

If immigration process model is fixed with some onetime process and a new tighter immigration rules to meet 21st century, we will have constant number or very slight high number of people applying to immigration benefits than anticipated. In case of unexpected demands, new process could account for increase in demand by either higher fees or tighter limit on immigration without going back to congress.

This will help our country (technical incorrect but emotionally) not only avoid the separation of families but also transit into much efficient immigration process to keep continuing US retain the number#1 talent country for education and research. Helps USCIS focus on security and immigration without being short of budget. This also helps millions of immigrants like us to keep focus on contributing towards progress with our money, heart and soul for America which are getting lost and diminished due to "no hope" and our inability to take less risks/investment.

Let’s be reasonable to each other, we can make it happen if you can guide the Congress(lawmakers) or us on "how" rather than temporary fix of fee increment to meet short the term goals.

Respectfully submitted,
Non-Immigrant

 
At June 21, 2010 at 1:00:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some one here mentioned about allocating visa number at the labor clearance itself. If USCIS is not controlling it at labor approval, can you guys make it at I-140 approval? So that, applicant will know which years visa number is used for him and also we won't waste any visa numbers with processing track.

EB3 folks are crying out for help and throwing you lot of good ideas. Can you guys pick those and give us some relief.

 
At June 21, 2010 at 1:53:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi USCIS,
A suggestion from me would be Please move the cut off dates by 3 months instead of making current when the EB2 India's backlog is cleared.
The reason is as all the spill over visas are going to EB2 category there would be no spill over to EB3 category in near future.
Say we have 51000 EB2 people with PDs till July 2007, waiting for Visa numbers. Now say in 2 years the backlog of for EB2 is cleared, and when you move the cut off dates to current then all the people from Priority dates Aug 2007 till date will apply and then again the backlog will be huge. It would take another 3 years to clear that backlog. Meantime the EB3 will still be deep in the hole with out any movement and the difference between EB2 and EB3 will be in decades. This EB2 becomes current every 3 years and exhaust all the spill overs every time and will be a cycle all over, with nothing left for EB3 category.

So my humble suggestion is please coordinate with DOS to move cutoff dates by 3 months at a time rather than making them current and creating new backlogs for years.
This will help everyone in EB3

 
At June 21, 2010 at 7:06:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

To USCIS

Every new blog here eventually ends up with people expressing their frustration with the unfair wait time for green card. It's needless to mention that the frustration is legitimate. You can either ignore it or try to do something about it, even within the limit of the current law. The choice is yours.

 
At June 21, 2010 at 8:38:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I cannot believe it. Increasing fees, AGAIN!!!!!
Why do not you do something first with all of us that has been waiting 8 years or more to get our GC.
This is incredible, unfair, and ridiculous. There are no words to define your lack of sensitivity

 
At June 21, 2010 at 11:38:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am more than happy to pay the increase in fees if services are provided in return. Re-capture the wasted visas and provide accurate reporting. Last year I was 14 months away from getting my green card. I decided to invest in America and purchase an investment home. Two months later the Visa Bulletin tells me I'm 4 years away from my green card! This on top of 8 years of waiting. Please re-capture the wasted visa and correct the legal immigration system before discussing the illegal situation. Fair is fair and we are contributing in multiple ways to this economy. Thanks

 
At June 22, 2010 at 1:13:00 AM EDT , Anonymous Ram K said...

Could you please recapture EB visa numbers to make processing faster. It is really taking too long to get Green Card for indians and everyone is suffering in consulting loophole.

 
At June 22, 2010 at 7:59:00 AM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is it a joke? First if all USCIS hired bunch of contractors to eliminate the back log and Fees were increased in 2007. Now you don't have many filings so you want to increase the fees ?? WHat a joke ?? People will be waiting next year and I am prety sure there will be less filings and you are going to increase the fees again.
You are focussed on fees increased, you need to be focussed on elimiating backlog.. If people will see efficiency in the system probably won't mind fess increase.But efficicny like this they way USCIS working you need to decrease the Fees...
What a Joke ???

 
At June 22, 2010 at 11:04:00 AM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Director Mayorkas,

I am writing to express my gratitude for the great effort you are making to make USCIS work more efficiently. However, there are cases like mine, having lived legally in the US for 17 years and still waiting for my green card. I have heard from many immigration attorneys, including mine, that you are the first USCIS director who does want to make things right and who truly cares.

As you know, employment-based immigrant visas are severely retrogressed, and mine is among them. The main cause of the retrogression is due to all the visas that were wasted in years past, including 10,000 just last year. By Charlie Oppenheim’s estimate, as many as 300,000 have been wasted over the years, that is over two-year’s worth!

Recently, I heard USCIS is facing a significant budget shortfall, and the solution being proposed is to raise fees. The main culprit being a significant decline in applications.

Please allow me to recommend a solution that may not only eliminate the deficit, but that could potentially result in a surplus.

If you take action to recover all wasted visa numbers through an administrative fix, I assure you that the employment-based backlog will go away. Making priority dates current will create an influx of brand new adjustment of status cases along with millions of dollars in fees. It takes leadership like yours to do the right thing and implement comprehensive solutions that not only provide relief to people who have followed the law, but that take care of the financial health of a federal agency as well.

I truly appreciate your help and leadership.

 
At June 22, 2010 at 12:26:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Asking again....Answer please.....
I remember the application of spillover visas was done based on priority dates instead of category. But in recent years I see this has changed to based on category.
For example the spillover visas from worldwide in employment based categories are applied to EB2 first instead of EB3, which is much more retrogressed then EB2. Why is this unfair decision? This is not something decided by congress, it's purely unders USCIS control. Why can't this be done in a fair manner by providing the spillover visas to the cases with the oldest priority dates first (irrespective of category/country).

 
At June 22, 2010 at 12:50:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Director Mayorkas,

We all know how great this country and how easy it is to become part of this system for an immigrant and
how quickly one can become dependent on it i.e. in other words how difficult it is for one once he is part of this system and spent a few years to move back to a different country (including his country of origin) after living, working, paying taxing, raising his US born children in this country.

Similar is situation with atleast 500,000 to a million legal residents who are waiting for becoming a permenant resident. Current per country cap, inclusion of dependents in calculation of EB quota, lack of visa recapture has caused severe backlogs making one wait anywhere 5 - 25 years based on country of origin.

Mr. Mayorkas, Senator Lofgren in the past had introduced a bill to mitigate the backlog by introduction of VISA recapture bill which didnt
pass through the senate.

But now the same thing can achieved under your leadership and guidance through a admin fix process.
So, I request you Mr. Mayorkas to kindly do the admin fix and recapture lost visas and bring relief to a million legally living tax paying "temporary" residents.

Atleast, let us file Adjustment of Permanant Residence(I 485) application once our Immigrant Petition (I 140) is approved there is no reason to keep us waiting indefinitely till VISA bulletin dates become current.

This is the right thing to do Mr.Mayorkas, it is in consonance with values and principles of justice and freedom America endears.


God bless you Director Mayorkas !

Your's Sincerely,
Raghav

 
At June 22, 2010 at 1:17:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

sir,
Please do something to reduce backlog. Recapture wasted visas.
Thank you

 
At June 22, 2010 at 1:25:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Director Mayorkas,

I am writing to express my gratitude for the great effort you are making to make USCIS work more efficiently. However, there are cases like mine, having lived legally in the US for 10 years and still waiting for my green card. I have heard from many immigration attorneys, including mine, that you are the first USCIS director who does want to make things right and who truly cares.

As you know, employment-based immigrant visas are severely retrogressed, and mine is among them. The main cause of the retrogression is due to all the visas that were wasted in years past, including 10,000 just last year. By Charlie Oppenheim’s estimate, as many as 300,000 have been wasted over the years, that is over two-year’s worth!

Recently, I heard USCIS is facing a significant budget shortfall, and the solution being proposed is to raise fees. The main culprit being a significant decline in applications.

Please allow me to recommend a solution that may not only eliminate the deficit, but that could potentially result in a surplus.

If you take action to recover all wasted visa numbers through an administrative fix, I assure you that the employment-based backlog will go away. Making priority dates current will create an influx of brand new adjustment of status cases along with millions of dollars in fees. It takes leadership like yours to do the right thing and implement comprehensive solutions that not only provide relief to people who have followed the law, but that take care of the financial health of a federal agency as well.

I truly appreciate your help and leadership.

 
At June 22, 2010 at 4:19:00 PM EDT , Blogger Intruder said...

My Dear Mayorkas,

I am in the same situation as others waiting for Green card paying the hiked fees from 2007 on wards for each of my H1 renewals. I can’t buy a house; make an informed decision about my job without a Green Card. USCIS has definitely increased transparency a little more than before; however the future is still bleak as you know that the back log is 3.14 hundred thousand for EB category. Being an important person can you write in your next blog or let us know any thing about recapture if an admin fix is possible from USCIS at all or not? One of my friends spoke to Lofgren’s office and he heard back from them that USCIS can possibly do an admin fix for allowing recapture to happen. Can you please let us know what is stopping you to do this from your end without a legislative reform? Or do you have any proposals that would bring relief to the immigrant pain??

And one last thing – Rate hike is fine for us. Do we have a choice?

Have a good day.

 
At June 23, 2010 at 5:08:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

USCIS and its staff know Immigrant community is a "Cash Cow" and they will keep on milking till it dies..thats what is going on. Oh, we need a bonus, increase in pay..here is the fix increase the fees. Why one time fees is not enough? afterall this is a federal agenecy and we pay taxes ( more than most of the uscis staff)..and still we get dumb replies, answeres from the uscis staff. FIX IT.

 
At June 24, 2010 at 2:27:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please save us, from these years of waiting for Green car. Don't burden us more by fee increases

 
At June 24, 2010 at 3:44:00 PM EDT , Anonymous B said...

If spill over is not happening based on priority date, eb3 will never get spill over visa's and will hurt more for eb3 applicants.

uscis - can you think about it otherwise it wont be fair justice to eb3 applicants.

 
At June 26, 2010 at 7:45:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

USCIS should re-scrutinize all the I-140s approved in the years 2005,2006 and 2007. Many of these were approved with minimal scrutiny.

USCIS should perform a employment verification once again before approving the GCs.

Many firms that appiled during this period..no longer operate. Many employees also have moved on into different jobs.

The same scrutiny that is being applied to H1Bs should be applied to EB 2 and EB1 categorys as well

 
At June 27, 2010 at 6:41:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been wondering.... What happen if all of us EB3 decided to join and protest for all this wasted time? Many of us have been waiting years to get our GC. We have paid every cent that USCIS requires to have our papers. But now they want to increase fees,so... are we suppose to pay and wait wait and wait. How many more years can we wait? How many more years our family that probably can not afford a ticket to visit us is going to wait to meet us some day? I cannot believe we still have to wait so long. Something is wrong here. May be they do not want to issue any more visas? That is not fair. We have done everything to get the GC, why do not you do your part??? We deserve some respect for our rights because even when you probably do not like it (USCIS people) we have rights. Do not play with us. Do not make us feel that you are palying with our feelings. I wonder again... What happen if we join a fight for our rights.

 
At June 29, 2010 at 1:59:00 AM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

The American Dream

Dear Director Mayorkas,

Citizens of many countries find themselves in the unbearable situation of trying to raise their families under corrupt local Governments officials who participate in drug trafficking, kidnapping, and holding hostages for ransom. To parents who want to raise their children in a safe place, coming to America is still a DREAM, the answer. The laws that welcomed America’s forefathers to this land are no longer in existence; those laws were replaced with laws that make it difficult to come to America.

They are tired of being afraid for their lives and their Children’s lives because of the relentless and cruel drug and crime rings that rule the streets of their home country, to them America is HOPE, all they want just like my grandfather in 1913, is opportunity. They want their children to be safe. They want them to live the American Dream. But they are turned away by those who got here first!!

My dear friend is one of the many immigrants who have followed all the rules to become permanent resident but seems like under the current laws their process will NEVER end. And I hope raising these fees again will "accelerate their solution".

Mr. Mayorkas your leadership as a head of USCIS can help many families to become regular residents of this society that they are already contributing financially to; I heard recently that you have been one of the few USCIS directors that really want to make a difference, this is your opportunity to finalize their Calvary and clear that backlog of Green Card petitions employment based, I even heard that many Green Card’s numbers have been wasted throughout recent years even with so many applications pending.

I greatly appreciate your attention to this matter,


God Bless America!

 
At June 29, 2010 at 9:29:00 AM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is USCIS listening?
USCIS should take out the employer from the EB processing mix and adopt a point based system. This should be purely based on academic credentials, number of years of experience and also based on individual’s moral background / clean records.
Employers are misuing their previlege of sponsoring green cards causing undue hardship to their employees (due to the need to continue working for the employer during the GC wait period) and also manipulating the immigration system .
I heard HR of one IT firm boasting about their firm’s liberal policy to process EB1 GCs to prospective employees. They “Park” their employees outside the country for a period of 1 year and circumvent the entire LC process and apply EB1 directy. Roles such as Project Managers, Senior Project Managers, Architects or Test Managers are just normal roles and they don’t qualify for a Multinational Exective category as defined in EB1. These roles do not have any finanacial or organizational authoritiy in these firms. These firms blatently misues the loop holes in the current process and push these cases through. The same applys to EB2 category as well. USCIS should establish a base minimum criteria to qualify for these categorys (for e.g For EB1 USCIS should establish a minimum salary requirement of USD 150,000 or above for last 2 preceding years, similary for EB2 it should be USD 120,000 or above for 2 years or more).
Unless immediate steps are taken the sytem is prone to be misued by unscruplous firms.

Thanks

 
At June 30, 2010 at 2:06:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

We cant win on this issue. If we dont support a fee increase, we run the risk of being accused of wanting services, but dont want to pay for it and so keep the status quo. Yet if we approve of fee increases like we have seen in the past, there is no guarantee we will see any improvement in services. Alot of people are still wondering what improvements were made from the last increases.

 
At July 1, 2010 at 3:45:00 AM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK... I am willing to pay $5000. I don't even want to get GC. Just allow me apply I-485.

 
At July 1, 2010 at 1:04:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

In my opinion the fee hike is not the major problem faced by majority of the immigrant petitioners. Many immigration applicants are subjected to manifold hidden costs and other inconveniences (most of them are avoidable). Let me give a few examples. The immigration law is very complicated and thus we need the service of an immigration attorney to file most of the immigration petitions. Compared to the fee charged by these attorneys, USCIS fees are trivial. The success of the petitions also depends on the ability of the attorneys, especially in the cases of EB 1 and EB 2 NIW. I will fully support the fee increase if USCIS is able to,

1. Reduce the complexity of the immigration laws and procedures so that common man can do most of the immigration petitions themselves. My suggestion is to entrust this task to a committee so that they can study the pros and cons of each procedure and come out with suitable and efficient solution like ‘point system’ adopted by other countries. The point system or something similar to that is more suitable for petitions under EB-1 and EB-2NIW categories.
2. Avoid or minimize unnecessary RFEs in the case of Immigration petitions. From my limited knowledge, I understand that usually IOs ask for unnecessary RFE to buy time for adjudication especially in cases that are outside the normal processing time. Example: In one particular case, a client’s file was transferred from Texas to Nebraska. The case was far outside the normal processing time. When the client requested his attorney to follow up the matter with the USCIS, he immediately warned the client that he would get an immediate RFE if he calls the USCIS. Without listening to the warning of the attorney, the client actually called the USCIS to enquire about the undue delay in processing of his case. The result is like anybody’s imagination. Within a week the client got a Generic RFE. To respond an RFE, usually attorneys charge a fee of $500 and above. In addition to that the client has to devote considerable time and other expenses to reply the RFE.
3. Take responsibility of their mistake and faults. I lost substantial amount money and time (directly and indirectly) due to the errors of USCIS. Same mistake happened two times with in a period of 5 years.

Another suggestion is to give some fee concession to the unlucky folks from backlogged countries when they renew their documents periodically. The fee increase may not affect much to those who are paying only once.

 
At July 2, 2010 at 4:39:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

USCIS discriminates against naturalised citizens.
I am a naturalised citizen and a couple years ago separated honarably from The Marine Corps.I recently lost my citizenship certificate and now it will cost me $380 to get a copy so that I can prove to the passport folks that am a citizen to get a passport.This is ridiculous because I am a citizen with equal rights just as a one born here.It would cost a natural born citizen less than $20 to prove there citizenship by applying for a replacement birth certificate but costs me $380.This is not right and should be looked into .

 
At July 3, 2010 at 9:41:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

US Unemployment numbers ….???

USCIS,
Is there any rationale to issue more H1s and EBs with such sky high unemployment numbers? USCIS should put a hold on issuing any further H1s and EB GCs for atleast 3 year till unemployment numbers are under 3%.

 
At July 6, 2010 at 6:00:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Anonymous talking about unemployment -

The first step for EB processing is to make sure there was no qualified US citizen / GC holder for the position. So, unemployment has nothing to do with GC.

 
At July 7, 2010 at 8:54:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Anonymous who claims that GC has nothing to do with employment:

Current USCIS visa numbers are not market determined. Irrespective of economic conditions visa numbers continue to be same. Like how Fed determines rates based on economic conditions, annual visa numbers should be linked to unemployment numbers.

 
At July 11, 2010 at 10:53:00 AM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Again, visa numbers comes into picture in AOS, which is the last step in GC....The first step is PERM processing by DOL wherein it is made sure that there was no willing US citizen or green card holder that fitted for the same position. So, I repeat, unemployment has nothing to do with green cards.

 
At July 18, 2010 at 9:39:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think you are right...Now I understand that GC has nothing to do with unemployment.

 
At August 3, 2010 at 2:47:00 AM EDT , Anonymous Lanaya said...

Immigration in the 70, 80, 90 was alot different regarding immigrants and education etc. For example - back then their was a thing called "hard honest work" so that you can provide for your family, and non of this free gimmie gimmie government handouts like you see alot of today.

Here's what happened - Jose would come to the U.S and once he/she would start getting Government assistance he/she would contact his buddy Manuel in Mexico, then Manuel would travel to the U.S and take advantage of the situation, then this would repeat over and over again.

I'm not saying all immigrants try to take advantage of the system, but many do. You see I was born in Mexico and came to the U.S. when I was 4 months. Since then, I have never left because I love this country more than anything. I'm well educated entrepreneur (software engineer) and have employed many people and have always given back to society, because If it wasn't for my parents and the U.S, I can assure you I would be working in the marijuana fields in Mexico or up to no good.

One last thing - part of the problem is Mexico and its corrupted government that knows nothing about taking care or at least somewhat of their people.

That's my two cents.

BTW - I'm a proud U.S citizen and loyal republican.

Lanaya

 
At August 24, 2010 at 7:23:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

simple:
1- USCIS wants more money to improve its revenue
2- backlog 0f about 350,000 applicants waiting for visa numbers
solution
1- convince congress to approve the visa recapture bill of 350,000 lost visas
2- i am sure every backlogged candidate is willing to pay an additional 500$ at a minimum to get it over with.
guaranteed 175 million dollars for the immigration and guaranteed big smiles for all the waiting souls.

 
At September 8, 2010 at 11:02:00 AM EDT , Anonymous Carol@beddingandcomforters.com said...

As a conservative I have to say that I do not like the fact that the fee is being raised. This will put a burden on the already overburdened poor families applying for legal residence.

 
At September 18, 2010 at 11:56:00 AM EDT , Anonymous Diogo Pires said...

The law clearly says that 140,000 EB visa shuould be allocated if there is "demand" for it.

For the past few years from 2001, there was always demand for EB visa. But many visa numbers are wasted. Is this against the law or not?

 
At February 16, 2011 at 11:45:00 PM EST , Anonymous Anonymous said...

China is making progress everyday but I am still sitting in a small office here waiting for my no-where-to-go green card. I will quit soon and go back to my home country to be a citizen and get respect.

 
At October 9, 2013 at 8:20:00 PM EDT , Blogger pandu winan said...

Sir Mayorkas,

I know it is not in your direct powers. But you do however have frequent meetings with lawmakers in Washington. Please tell them that VISA Recapture bill is the solution and path forward. It will eliminate backlogs and increase revenue for USCIS.

Please inform senators about the VISA recapture bill and that USCIS is ready to handle it. Please suggest them the way out of the backlog misery. I am sure they will take your advise.

I watched your meeting in Washington with senators on C-SPAN. I had a feeling they like you in Washington. But you did not offer them direct solutions to our problems. Please be bold and tell them. I hope u did mention about VISA recapture behind the scenes :)

We know that you like immigrants. Please secretly support us.

 
At November 28, 2014 at 5:15:00 AM EST , Blogger Qdc Qatar said...

I think you are right...Now I understand that GC has nothing to do with unemployment.

 

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