Green Card Fees

There are many fees that must be paid depending on which stage in the application process you are

///Green Card Fees
Green Card Fees

Applying for a Green Card is not for free. There are many fees that must be paid depending on which stage in the application process you are. So if you are wondering how much does it cost to get a Green Card, this article will go through the fees for petitions, forms, and additional administrative fees.

Fees for Petitions

To get a U.S permanent residence or Green Card, you must get an approved petition by the U.S Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The petition must be filed by either a close family member of yours (fiancé/spouse, child, parent, or sibling) if you are applying for a family based Green Card, by your employer if you are working in the U.S, or by you as the applicant if you plan on investing in the U.S.

The petition fees must be paid to USCIS by the petitioner, so if someone else is petitioning on your behalf, they must pay the fee. The petition will not be processed if the fees are not paid. Below are the most common petitions filed, their cost, and the type of immigrant visa they are necessary for.

  • Form I-129F Petition for Alien Fiancé(e) – this form costs $535 and is necessary for the K-1 visa for an alien fiancé.
  • Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative – this form costs $535 and is necessary for the following visas:
    • K-3 visa, spouse of a U.S Citizen awaiting approval of an I-130 immigrant petition
    • F-1 visa for unmarried sons and daughters of U.S citizens and their minor children
    • F-2A visa for spouses and minor children of Legal Permanent Residents (LPRs)
    • F-2B visa for unmarried children over 21 years old of LPRs
    • F-3 visa for married children of U.S citizens who will go to the U.S with their spouses and minor children
    • F-4 visa for siblings of U.S citizens who will go to the U.S with their spouses and minor children
    • IR-1 visa for the spouse of a U.S citizen
    • IR-2 visa for the unmarried children under 21 years old of a U.S citizen
    • IR-5 visa for parents of a U.S citizen who is at least 21 years old.
  • Form I–140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker – this form costs $700 and is necessary for the following visas:
    • EB-1 Visa or First Priority Workers Visa for outstanding professors, researchers, people with extraordinary abilities in arts, science, business, athletics, or education, as well as executive managers who have worked at a foreign branch of a U.S company for the past 3 years
    • EB-2 Visa or Second Priority Workers Visa for professionals with advanced degrees and people with extraordinary abilities in arts, sciences, or business.
    • EB-3 Visa or Third Priority Workers Visa for skilled workers with more than 2 years of experience, professionals with a higher education degree, or unskilled workers with less than 2 years of experience (EW-3 Visa).
  • Form I–360 Petition for Amerasian Widow(er) or Special Immigrant – this form costs $435 and is necessary for the EB-4 Visa or Fourth Priority Workers Visa for various religious, government, or international organizations workers
  • Form I–526 Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur – this form costs $3,675 and the person applying for the visa must pay for it. The form is necessary for the EB-5 Visa or Fifth Priority Workers Visa for investors in the U.S who will invest between $500K to $1 million in the U.S economy. The EB-5 visa has the following categories and the fee is valid for all of them:
    • C-5 visa for investors who create jobs outside of target areas
    • T-5 visa for investors who create jobs in targeted rural or high unemployment areas
    • R-5 visa for investors who participate in an Investor Pilot Program not in a target area
    • I-5 visa for investors who participate in an Investor Pilot Program in a targeted area
  • Form I–600/600A Petition to Classify Orphan as an Immediate Relative/Application for Advance Petition Processing of Orphan Petition – this form costs $775 and is valid for the following visas:
    • IR-3 visa for children from Non-Hague countries adopted abroad by a U.S citizen
    • IR-4 visa for children from Hague countries to be adopted within the U.S by a U.S citizen
  • Form I-800/800A Petition to Classify Convention Adoptee as an Immediate Relative/Application for Determination of Suitability to Adopt a Child from a Convention Country – this form costs $775 and is necessary for these visas:
    • IR-3 visa for children from Non-Hague countries adopted abroad by a U.S citizen
    • IR-4 visa for children from Hague countries to be adopted within the U.S by a U.S citizen

Green Card Application Fee

After the petition has been processed and approved by USCIS, you will have to apply for the visa at the U.S Embassy in your country of residence. When you start the application, you must pay the fee. These fees are not paid by the petitioners, but by the applicants. Depending on the visa you are applying for, you will have to submit one of the three application forms:

  • Form DS-160
  • Form DS-260
  • Form DS-261

The fees of applying for a Green Card are as follows:

Application Purpose Fee
Form DS-160 Applying for one of the following visas:

  • K-1 visa.
  • K-3 visa.
$160
Form DS-260 Applying for an immigrant visa except for the EB-4 visa. $325
Form DS-261 Applying for the EB-4 visa. $325
Form DS-117 Applying for a Returning Resident Visa (SB-1 visa). $205
Affidavit of Support Paid by petitioners during the application process for all immigrant visas. $120

Green Card Application Supporting Fees

Besides the application fee for the forms, you will most likely have to pay other supporting fees during the process. The following are the most common fees that immigrant applicants must pay:

Medical examination fees

All people who want to immigrate to the U.S must go through a medical examination and vaccination. This is to make sure that you are healthy and have taken all the vaccines necessary in the U.S. So, before your interview, you will have to undergo this examination and will most likely have to pay for it yourself. The exact amount varies by the types of tests that the U.S Embassy requires you to go through and the cost of medical examination in your country of residence.

Administrative fees related to filing, translating, copying, printing, notarizing etc.

In addition to the medical fees, you will most likely be asked to translate documents from your native language, notarize, print, and copy. You will be responsible for these fees and must pay whatever rate is in your country of residence.

USCIS immigrant fee

If your visa is approved, before you travel to the U.S you must pay the USCIS immigrant fee which is $220. This fee is paid by all those who are moving permanently to the U.S.

Other Fees

Besides the fees for petitioning and applying, there might also be other fees that either a sponsor or the applicants themselves must pay.

DOL labor certification fees

For the EB-1 visa, EB-2 visa, and EB-3 visa, employers must also obtain a labor certification from the U.S Department of Labor (DOL). This certification will prove to USCIS that the company made efforts to hire an employee who is a U.S citizen or current permanent resident, but was unable to. This can be because there is no one who has the skills that the company is looking for, or the person was unavailable or not willing to get hired for the job.

During the process of getting this certification, the company must pay various fees related to job ads, hiring costs, and document filing costs. The exact amount depends on the current market rates and any rates that the DOL requires.

Diversity Visa Lottery

If you are not applying for any of the immigrant visas but want to apply for the Diversity Visa, then your only fee initially will be the application fee for the lottery which is $330.

Fees to be paid after you move to the U.S

When you move to the U.S with an immigrant visa, you must pay some additional fees to get the status of legal permanent resident (LPR). There are two documents that applicants must usually pay and below are the rates for them:

  • Form I–765 Application for Employment Authorization – this form costs $410 and is for the immigrant visa applicants who are still waiting for their Form I-130 to be processed and are currently living in the U.S (K-3 visa)
  • Form I–485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status – this form is for those with an immigrant visa who need a permanent resident card and it costs $1,140.
  • Form I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status (certain applicants under the age of 14 years) – this form is for those with an immigrant visa who are under 14 years old, and costs $750.