Additional fee for immigrant visa application effective February 1 2013.

immigrationnewsflash

 

New USCIS Immigrant Fee of $165 will be collected from foreign nationals seeking permanent residence or green card in the United States by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) from Feb. 1, 2013. This new fee was established in USCIS’s final rule adjusting fees for immigration applications and petitions announced on Sept. 24, 2010.

Why additional fee?

With the Department of State (DOS), USCIS has worked closely to implement the new fee. After immigrant visa holders receive their visa packages from DOS this fee allows USCIS to recover the costs of processing immigrant visas in the United States. This includes staff time to handle, file and maintain the immigrant visa package, and the cost of producing and delivering the permanent resident card. The implementation of this new fee is further detailed in a Federal Register notice publication.

Applicants will pay online through the USCIS website after they receive their visa package from DOS and before they depart for the United States in order to simplify and centralize the payment process. On how to submit payment DOS will provide applicants with specific information when they attend their consular interview. The new fee is in addition to fees charged by DOS associated with an individual’s immigrant visa application.

Approximately 36,000 immigrant visa packages each month are processed by USCIS. Prospective adoptive parents whose child will enter the United States under the Orphan or Hague processes are exempt from the new fee.

How to pay fee?

Two separate fees will now have to be paid by applicants according to USCIS. The DOS visa application processing fee they are still required to pay and will now also have to pay the USCIS Immigrant Fee.

Through the USCIS website applicants must pay this fee online. After they receive their visa package from DOS applicants should submit payments before they depart for the United States.

On the USCIS website by providing their checking account information or debit or credit card information applicants can electronically submit the fee.

On a U.S. bank all check payments must be drawn. Another person can make this payment on the applicant’s behalf if the applicant is unable to make this payment,

If fee is not paid?

Until the required USCIS Immigrant fee is paid the applicant will not receive a green card. The lawful status of the applicant is not affected if fee is not paid. While the applicant can use their Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Form I-94, Arrival and Departure Record, for one year to document they are a lawful permanent resident. The applicant will need to possess a green card as evidence of their lawful permanent resident status once that I-94 stamp expires.

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