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New Lawsuit Seeks To Stop USCIS Fee Increases

A new lawsuit seeks to stop USCIS fee increases scheduled to go into effect April 1, 2024.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently announced substantial fee increases covering a wide range of petitions and applications seeking US visa benefits in a Final Rule issued on January 31, 2024. In a number of cases, USCIS fee increases exceeded 100% of the fees currently in effect. These USCIS fee increases are set to go into effect on April 1, 2024. 

What are the allegations that could stop the USCIS fee increases from going into effect April 1?

On March 19, 2024, plaintiffs comprising an individual EB-5 investor, a non-profit organization that advocates on behalf of EB-5 investors, and an IT company filed a lawsuit against USCIS in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado.  

Let’s break down the allegations made in the complaint:

  • Lack of appropriate notice and comment: The plaintiffs argue that the Final Rule was implemented without allowing for proper notice and comment from stakeholders. Federal agencies are required to allow for such proper notice and comment when making significant regulatory changes.
  • Forcing some businesses and individuals to fund asylum adjudications: The complaint alleges that the Final Rule arbitrarily forces certain businesses and individuals to fund asylum adjudications, unfairly shifting financial burdens onto specific groups without justification.
  • Unlawfully imposing fee increases without completing a fee study: The plaintiffs contend that USCIS unlawfully imposed fee increases of 100% or higher on foreign investors seeking immigrant status based on job creation, without first completing a fee study as ordered by Congress.

The plaintiffs are seeking both preliminary and permanent injunctions on the Final Rule. A preliminary injunction would temporarily halt the enforcement of the rule while the case is being litigated, while a permanent injunction would permanently block its implementation.

When will a decision be made regarding this lawsuit’s impact on the USCIS fee increases?

The District Court should issue a decision prior to the effective date of the Final Rule on April 1.  

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