USCIS Immigrant Fee

USCIS Immigrant Fee

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Last updated: April 8, 2024.

What is USCIS Immigrant Fee?

The USCIS Immigrant Fee, also known as the USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services) Immigrant Visa Application Processing Fee, is a mandatory fee that certain immigrants must pay before they can receive their lawful permanent resident (LPR) cards, also known as green cards (Form I-551), after being approved for immigrant visas.

Here are some key points about the USCIS Immigrant Fee:

  • Amount: The current fee is $235. 
  • Purpose: The fee is designed to cover the cost of processing and producing the immigrant’s green card.
  • Who Pays: Individuals who are immigrating to the United States as lawful permanent residents and who receive an immigrant visa from a U.S. embassy or consulate abroad are required to pay this fee. 
  • Timing: The fee is typically paid online to USCIS after the immigrant visa is issued but before the individual travels to the United States. It is an essential step in the process of becoming a lawful permanent resident.
  • Payment Method: The fee must be paid online using a credit card or a U.S. bank account. It’s crucial to follow the payment instructions provided by USCIS to ensure timely processing.
  • Consequences of Non-payment: Failure to pay the USCIS Immigrant Fee can result in delays in receiving the green card upon arrival in the United States. It’s essential to pay the fee as instructed to avoid such delays.

The USCIS Immigrant Fee is one of several fees associated with the U.S. immigration process. It is separate from the visa application fees paid to the U.S. Department of State for processing the immigrant visa application. 

Who needs to pay the USCIS Immigrant Fee?

The USCIS Immigrant Fee must be paid by the following categories of applicants who obtained immigrant visas at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate:

  • Family-sponsored immigrants: This includes individuals who are immigrating based on a family relationship with a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident.
  • Employment-based immigrants: Individuals who are being sponsored for permanent residency by their U.S. employers
  • Diversity Visa (DV) immigrants: Winners of the Diversity Visa Lottery Program are also required to pay the USCIS Immigrant Fee.

The $235 fee is paid online after the individual receives their immigrant visa package from the U.S. Embassy or Consulate and before they travel to the U.S.

Adjustment of Status applicants do not need to pay the USCIS Immigrant Fee, the green card production is covered by the Form I-485 filing fee.

How much is the USCIS Immigrant Fee?

The current USCIS Immigrant Fee is $235. To check the latest USCIS Immigrant Fee, visit the USCIS website.

Who is exempt from paying the USCIS Immigrant Fee?

The following individuals are are exempt from paying the USCIS Immigrant Fee:

  • Children who enter the United States under either the Orphan or Hague adoption programs;
  • Iraqi and Afghan special immigrants;
  • Returning residents (SB-1s); and
  • Individuals who are issued K visas.

What is the latest day the USCIS Immigrant Fee can be paid?

There is no specific deadline for paying the USCIS Immigrant Fee. 

However, it is generally recommended to pay the fee as soon as possible after receiving the immigrant visa package from the U.S. Embassy or Consulate and before traveling to the U.S.

This ensures that there are no delays or issues upon arrival and you can receive the green card by mail in a timely manner.

What happens if I do not pay the USCIS Immigrant Fee?

Paying the USCIS Immigrant Fee is a mandatory requirement for certain individuals coming to the U.S. on immigrant visas.

Failure to pay the USCIS Immigrant Fee may result in delays in the production and issuance of your green card, which is essential for proving your lawful permanent resident status.

After you enter the U.S. on an immigrant visa, you will receive a passport stamp that serves as a temporary proof of your permanent residence status for 1 year.

How can I pay the USCIS Immigrant Fee?

To complete the USCIS Immigrant Fee payment, you will need to have the following documents available:

  • Immigrant Data Summary Sheet, or
  • USCIS Immigrant Fee Handout and immigrant visa.

Step-by-step instructions on paying the USCIS Immigrant Fee:

Step 1: Go to the USCIS Immigrant Fee page.

Step 2: Enter your A number. Your A number can be found on your immigrant data summary, USCIS Immigrant Fee handout, or immigrant visa in your passport. On a visa page, your A-Number is listed under “Registration Number”. A number is 8 or 9 digits long. Example: A201-768-129.

Enter your DOS Case ID. It can be found on your immigrant data summary, USCIS Immigrant Fee handout, or immigrant visa in your passport. DOS Case ID starts with 3 letters followed by 9 or 10 numbers. Example: WRW20918621341.

Step 3: Once you have entered your information, select “Next.” 

Step 4: Add additional immigrants to your payment (optional). When you are finished, select “Continue.”

Step 5: Review your payment. Provide and confirm your email address. When finished select “Proceed to Payment.”

Step 6: Select a payment method. You will be directed to Pay.gov, a payment portal managed by the U.S. Department of the Treasury. You can pay the fee with:

  • valid credit card,
  • debit card, or 
  • electronic checking or savings (ACH) payment from a U.S. bank account. 

Choose your payment method and then select Continue.” Any person can pay the fee (immigrant, petitioner or any other individual).

Step 7: Save the confirmation of your payment. Save a copy of the payment confirmation page for your records.

Step 8. We strongly recommend you to create an online USCIS account that will allow you to check the status of your green card online, change your mailing address and receive notifications with status updates. You will need to have the following documents available to create an online USCIS account: your passport with a stamped visa and your visa application.

Who can pay the USCIS Immigrant Fee?

The following individuals can pay the USCIS Immigrant Fee:

  • Applicant
  • Applicant’s family member
  • Applicant’s friend
  • Applicant’s employer
  • Applicant’s attorney or accredited representative

If someone pays the fee on applicant’s behalf, they will need to have the applicant’s Alien Number (A-Number) and Department of State (DOS) Case ID. 

You can find this information on the “Immigrant Data Summary” sheet provided to the applicant by the U.S. Embassy or Consulate.

You may also pay the fee after you arrive in the U.S.

You will not receive your green card until the USCIS Immigrant Fee is paid.

What happens after the USCIS Immigrant Fee is paid?

After you have paid the USCIS Immigrant Fee, several important steps follow in the immigration process:

  • Confirmation Receipt: Upon successful payment, you will receive a confirmation receipt. It’s essential to retain a copy of this receipt as you will need to track the status of your green card delivery.
  • Green Card Production: Paying the USCIS Immigrant Fee is a necessary step for the production of your green card (Form I-551, Permanent Resident Card). USCIS collects this fee to cover the costs of producing the green card.
  • Form I-551 Stamp: When you enter the U.S. on an immigrant visa, the CBP officers will place an endorsement or stamp on your passport as evidence of your lawful permanent resident status. This stamp serves as temporary 1-year proof of your permanent residency until your green card is mailed to your U.S. address.
  • Receive the Green Card: USCIS will mail the physical green card to the U.S. address you provided on your Form DS-260 (Immigrant Visa Electronic Application). It’s important to keep your address updated with USCIS to ensure the green card is delivered to the correct location. If you need to change your U.S. mailing and physical address, confirm your identity and update the address with USCIS online.
  • Register for Selective Service (if applicable): If you are a male between the ages of 18 and 26, you must register with the Selective Service System. This is a requirement for all male immigrants. Failure to timely register with the Selective Service System might make you ineligible for U.S. citizenship or significantly delay the naturalization process.

Where will my green card be mailed after the USCIS Immigrant Fee is submitted?

After you pay the USCIS Immigrant Fee, USCIS will produce your green card and mail it to the U.S. address you indicated on your Form DS-260 online application. If your mailing address changes, you will need to change your mailing address online in your USCIS online account (recommended option). If you do not have an USCIS online account, you can also change the address on the USCIS website.

How to check the USCIS Immigrant Fee status?

You can check the status of your USCIS Immigrant Fee payment online on the USCIS Case Status Online page.

Enter your receipt number to access the current case status of your green card production and delivery.

USCIS typically sends the original green card by mail 90 days after either the USCIS Immigrant Fee is paid or after you enter the U.S. (if you have paid the fee before traveling to the U.S.)

How to change address after the USCIS Immigrant Fee is paid?

If you need to change your address after paying the USCIS Immigrant Fee but before receiving your green card, you should promptly update your address with USCIS:

  • Visit USCIS website
  • Confirm your identity by entering your A-number, DOS Case ID number and passport number
  • Create an online USCIS account. Save your backup code
  • Change your address in your online USCIS account
  • You can use this online USCIS account to change your physical and mailing address in the future

How soon will the green card arrive after the USCIS Immigrant Fee is paid?

USCIS typically sends the original green card by mail 90 days after either the USCIS Immigrant Fee is paid or after you enter the U.S. (if you have paid the fee before traveling to the U.S.)

I paid the USCIS Immigrant Fee but the green card never arrived. What to do next?

If you paid the USCIS Immigrant Fee but have not received your green card, and a considerable amount of time has passed, there are several steps you can take to inquire about the status and address the issue:

Check USCIS Case Status:

Related Links:

DS-260 Form – Step-By-Step Guide

Immigrant Visa Interview – What to Expect

Consular Processing – How to Apply for Immigrant Visa