USCIS Immigration Fees: Helpful Payment Tips

Payment of immigration fee

Permanent Residence Card is a document confirming a permanent resident status in America. It is predominantly green in color, which is why it is called the Green Card. This card allows a person to permanently live in the country, study at a public school, receive social transfers, own real estate, start a business, etc.

However, a US Green Card holder remains a citizen of home country. Therefore, this person does not have the right to vote in elections or travel without a visa to countries with a visa-free regime with the United States. To get more opportunities, a foreigner must become an American citizen.

You are eligible to apply for citizenship after 5 years of legal residence in the United States as a Green Card holder. But there is an exception for those who married a US citizen. They can apply for US citizenship after 3 years. At the same time, the applicant must be of legal age and have good knowledge of English. The transition from residency to citizenship is called naturalization.

What Is the USCIS Immigration Fee?

If you are interested in living in America and want to start by obtaining permanent residence status, be prepared to pay USCIS immigration fees. It is charged for processing your immigration Form, verifying all documents provided, and sending the Green Card.

If the correct immigration fee does not accompany your Green Card request, your petition will be denied. This can significantly slow down subsequent application processing, and you will receive it back. Find out more in this article about USCIS immigration fees and get valuable payment tips.

Useful Tips for Paying the Fee

There are several important rules that must be followed when paying for USCIS immigration forms. Please carefully study the tips below to ensure this process goes smoothly:

  • Make payments in dollars. Do not use any other currency. Your money order or check must be issued by a US financial institution;
  • Please note that money orders and checks must be made out to the US Department of Homeland Security;
  • The check must contain a date in a specific format. First, the month is indicated, then the day and year;
  • The money order or check issued must be accompanied by a note indicating which application is being paid;
  • When you fill out a money order or check, be sure to confirm the fee amount. Please note that USCIS changes fees from time to time, so you need to know exactly how much to pay. Otherwise, if the immigration fee amount is incorrect, the request will be rejected.

Following these simple rules will definitely help you ensure a hassle-free USCIS immigration fee payment process.

Important Information You Need to Know About USCIS Immigration Fees

The fee must be paid after you receive your immigrant visa package. If you are moving to the USA with your whole family, then the immigration fee is charged to all family members.

When Is the Best Time to Pay the Immigration Fee?

USCIS recommends paying fees before arriving in America. However, it is also allowed to make payments during your actual stay in the country. There is no serious violation in this. But the sooner the fee is paid, the sooner you receive your Green Card.

How Much Money Will I Have to Pay?

The USCIS immigration fee is currently $220. But, as mentioned above, it can be changed. Therefore, before making a payment, you should find out the exact cost by visiting the USCIS website.

What Payment Methods Can I Use?

In fact, there are many available methods for paying USCIS fees, so each person can easily choose the most convenient one. A popular option is to pay the fee in person. You just need to visit the nearest USCIS office and provide the required dollar amount.

Another available way to pay the fee is online:

  • Through the Electronic Immigration System (ELIS);
  • Using a bank credit or debit card;
  • Using a gift card Visa;
  • By withdrawing funds via electronic bank.

Many people use mail to pay the required amount of money for processing the Green Card application. If you choose this method, there are 3 available options: money order, check, and credit card.

What Is ELIS?

Paying immigration fees through the ELIS online payment system is very popular today. This is due to the simplicity of this method. To make a payment, you must first create an account by following the instructions provided on the USCIS website.

After generating an account, go to the Fees section and select the application you want to pay for. Payment can be made after entering the A-Number and DOS Case ID.

Are There Any Fee Exceptions?

There are several categories of people who do not have to pay USCIS fees. These include K non-immigrants; immigrants from countries such as Iraq and Afghanistan; children who arrived in the country under the Hague adoption programs; legal permanent residents wishing to return to the USA (SB-1s)

When Can I Expect My Green Card After Payment?

It is impossible to say exactly how long you will have to wait after paying the immigration fee to receive your Green Card. But the average waiting period is 90 days.