To obtain a Permanent Resident Card to live in the United States as a lawful permanent resident, you must pay the USCIS Immigrant Fee online. This USCIS fee is used to process your immigrant visa packet and produce your Green Card. You are required to pay the USCIS Immigrant Fee after you collect your immigrant visa from the US Department of State and before you visit the US.
Please note: The immigration visa application fee is separate from the USCIS immigrant fee and you have to pay it to the US Department of State (DOS). To obtain a Permanent Resident Card, you have to pay various types of Green Card fees.
Who pays the USCIS immigrant fee
If the beneficiary can’t pay the fee, a family member, friend, employer, attorney, or representative can pay the fee for him/ her. They will need the Alien Number (A-Number) and Department of State (DOS) Case ID of the beneficiary to pay the fee.
The Permanent Resident Card applicant may also pay the fee after arriving in the United States. In such a case, the USCIS will send you a notice requesting payment with instructions on how to pay USCIS immigrant fee. Your Green Card won’t be issued until you make the USCIS Immigrant Fee payment.
Applicants who belong to following groups don’t have to pay the USCIS immigrant fee:
- Children entering the US under the Orphan or Hague adoption program.
- Special immigrants of Iraq and Afghanistan.
- Returning PR Card holders (SB-1s)
- K visa holders (fiance).
How to pay USCIS immigrant fee
You can pay the USCIS immigrant fee online only. Here are the steps to pay the USCIS immigrant fee:
Step 1: When you attend your appointment at a US embassy or consulate, it will give you and your family members:
- A-Number, (the letter ‘“A” followed by 8 or 9 numbers, such as “A021354678”).
- Your DOS Case ID (3 letters followed by 9 or 10 numbers, such as “ABC1234567890”).
- A handout with instructions on how to pay the USCIS Immigrant Fee.
- Immigrant data summary.
- Sealed immigrant visa packet.
Step 2: Pay the USCIS immigrant fee by following the below instructions:
- Go to www.uscis.gov/file-online to review USCIS online filing resources.
- Select ‘Log in.’
- Next, select “USCIS Immigrant Fee.”
- Type your A-Number and DOS Case ID, printed at the top of your USCIS Immigrant Fee instruction paper.
- If you are paying for your family member who will reside in the US with you, you can add their A-number and DOS Case IDs and pay all fees in a single attempt.
- You must pay the USCIS immigrant fee online with a valid credit card or debit card, or US bank checking account information i.e. account number and bank routing number.
Fee amount and payment methods
The current USCIS Immigrant fee is $220 in 2022. You can use any of the following methods to pay the fee:
- Credit card (Visa, Master Card, American Express or Discover Card).
- Debit card.
- Prepaid debit card (such as Visa gift card).
- The prepaid debit card must have enough money to pay the fee.
- Automated Clearing House (ACH) payment using a US bank account.
- Provide a US checking account number and routing number for your US bank.
Consequences of failure to pay the fee
If you don’t pay the fee within the stipulated time, you won’t get your Green Card. However, it won’t affect your status as a permanent resident. But your status as a lawful permanent resident will be valid for one year from the date of your admission in the US, as shown by the temporary I-551 stamp CBP attached in your passport.
What happens after you arrive in the US
Once you arrive in the US, the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will admit you to the United States as a lawful permanent resident. The USCIS will verify if you have paid the USCIS Immigrant Fee. It will send your Green Card to the US address you have provided to the Department of States at the time of your interview.
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Yes, you can create a USCIS online account after you pay the fee. This account will allow you to:
– Check the status of your Green Card
– Change your address online
– Receive electronic notifications and case updates
If you can’t pay the USCIS Immigrant Fee before moving to the United States, you must pay the fee once you enter the United States. The USCIS will send you a notice with instructions on how to pay the fee. However, the USCIS will not issue your Green Card until you have paid the fee.