Submitted by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
A new immigrant fee will be charged by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services on February 2013.
Beginning Feb. 1, a $165 immigrant fee will be collected from individuals who have been issued immigrant visas by the U.S. Department of State and seek permanent residence in the United States, according to USCIS.
Applicants will now have two separate fees to pay. They are still required to pay the DOS visa application processing fee, and will now also have to pay the USCIS immigrant fee.
The USCIS immigrant fee was established in a USCIS announcement adjusting fees for immigration applications and petitions on Sept. 24, 2010. Any applicant on or after Feb. 1 receives an immigrant visa package from a United States consulate or embassy abroad including Canada and Mexico are required to pay both the DOS application processing fee and the USCIS Immigrant Fee.
The new immigrant fee will cover the cost of processing performed in the United States after applicants receive their visa packages from DOS and are admitted to the United States, according to the USCIS.
However, this fee does not apply to immigrants entering the United States under intercountry adoption programs. As a result, children admitted into the United States under the Orphan or Hague Adoptions process are exempt from the USCIS Immigrant Fee. USCIS will consider including the cost of processing immigrant visas for overseas adoptees the next time there is an adjustment to the fee schedule.
To simplify the process, immigrant visa holders applying for admission to the United States are required to pay the USCIS Immigrant Fee online through the official website, which is pay.gov. Payments should be submitted after applicants receive their visa packages from DOS and before they leave for the United States.
Applicants can electronically submit the fee by answering the questions on the USCIS website by providing their checking account, debit card or credit card information. All check payments must be drawn on a U.S. bank. If the applicant is unable to make the payment, another person can make the payment on the applicant’s behalf.
Failure to pay does not directly affect lawful status of the applicant. However, it is important for applicants to make the payment in time, since they will not receive a green card until the required immigrant fee is paid, according to USCIS. Failure to obtain the permanent resident card will make it difficult for any individual to show authorization to work legally in the United States or to return to the United States from temporary foreign travel.
For more information, please visit www.USCIS.gov/immigrantfee.
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