The following is an email message posted to the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies (IAJGS) Public Records Access Monitoring Committee mailing list and republished here with permission:
The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), part of the US Department of Homeland Security, posted in the January 29, 2021 Federal Register a notice about the preliminary injunction to its previously posted final rule and court orders effective September 29, 2020 and October 8, 2020. These injunctions were previously reported by the IAJGS Records Access Alert. While the predominant part of the original final rule was to increase fees for the immigration an citizenship benefits, genealogists were most interested as the fees for an index search and search request were being increased from $65.00 each for Form G-1041, Genealogy Index Search Request, when filed online as $160 and $170 when filed on paper and a fee for Form G-1041A, Genealogy Records Request, when filed online as $255 and $265 when filed by paper.
The notice which may be read at:
https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2021-01-29/pdf/2021-02044.pdf states the Department is complying with the terms of the two US District Court orders and is not enforcing the regulatory changes set out in the final rule. The USCIS will continue to accept the fees that were in place prior to October 2, 2020 and follow the guidance in place prior to October 2, 2020 to adjudicate fee waiver requests as provided in the Adjudicator’s Field Manual. Any further guidance and updates regarding the litigation will be posted on the USCIS website:
https://www.uscis.gov/news/news-releases/uscis-response-to-preliminary-injunction-of-fee-rule on an ongoing basis.
To see previous postings about the USCIS and the fee increases, go to the archives of the IAJGS Records Access Alert at: http://lists.iajgs.org/mailman/private/records-access-alerts/. You must be registered to access the archives. To register go to: http://lists.iajgs.org/mailman/listinfo/records-access-alerts and follow the instructions to enter your email address, full name and which genealogical organization with whom you are affiliated You will receive an email response that you have to reply to or the subscription will not be finalized.
Jan Meisels Allen
Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee