Lawsuit filed in US court challenging visa fee hikes for EB-5 investors and asylum fee charges

Mar25,2024



Mumbai: A trial has been filed in US District Court is challenging Increase in visa fees Which are going to come into effect from 1st April.
As TOI had earlier reported, the biggest fee hikes announced by US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) were for the following: EB-5 investor – Under the investment-linked green card program, investors must now pay $11,160 for their initial I-526 petitions – a 204% increase, and $9,535 for their I-829 application to remove conditions on permanent resident status. will have to be paid, which is an increase of 154%
Under the EB-5 program, once the initial application is processed, and the consular interview or adjustment of status (if the investor is in the US) is complied with, a conditional green card with a two-year validity is available. . Later, an application must be made to 'remove the conditions' and obtain a permanent green card. Fees for all stages have been increased.
Additionally, the revised fee structure also includes an additional $600 asylum program fee that will be charged for each Form I-129 (Initial Visa Application for Nonimmigrant Worker) and Form I-140 (Application for Employment-Based Green Card) . Nonprofit petitioners will be exempt from the new fee while small employers will have to pay a reduced fee of $300.
The plaintiffs in the suit, ITServe Alliance (a group that represents more than 2,000 small and medium-sized IT companies, many of which have founders of Indian origin); the American Immigrant Investor Alliance (a non-profit advocacy group for EB-5 investors), and a Canadian EB-5 investor. He is seeking a preliminary injunction to stop the planned fee increase.
The lawsuit, presented by attorneys Jonathan Wasden, Jesse Blais and Matthew Galati, states:
·The fee rule was promulgated without following proper rule making procedures;
·The fee rule doubles immigrant investor fees through the EB-5 program in violation of the law. Specifically, USCIS imposed new fees on nonresident investors and regional centers without completing the fee study required as part of the EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act of 2022; And
·Asylum fees 'arbitrarily and without legal justification' The government places the burden of funding to handle asylum cases on some employers.
In addition to seeking a preliminary injunction, the plaintiffs sought that the final rule (which increased the fees) be declared unlawful and void and sought to stay its enforcement.



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