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What is an immigrant fee? What happens if I fail to pay the immigrant fee?

fees, a calculator and notepad with pen

USCIS’s immigrant fee is a one-time processing fee required for new permanent residents who are landing in the United States with an immigrant visa. At the time of writing, the fee is $220 per person. This processing fee allows USCIS to process the permanent resident’s “immigrant visa packet,” which is submitted at the border at the time of admission, and to produce and deliver the permanent resident’s green card to their US mailing address.

Failure to pay the immigrant fee will not affect your status as a lawful permanent resident once you have landed. However, this will delay your ability to receive your green card, the only document which can evidence your lawful permanent resident status after your temporary admission stamp (I-551) expires after 1 year from your date of admission.

When do I need to pay the immigrant fee?

USCIS encourages permanent resident applicants to pay this fee after they receive their immigrant visa from the consulate and before they depart to the United States for their landing. It is also possible for permanent residents to pay this fee after they arrive in the United States, but this may delay the receipt of their green card because USCIS will check to see if the payment has been received before issuing the green card.

How do I pay the immigrant fee?

Anyone can pay your USCIS immigrant fee for you, including your attorney. It must be paid online by a credit card, debit card, or electronic funds transfer from a U.S. bank. Click here to navigate to the USICS online portal for the payment of this fee.

You will need to provide your A-Number and your DOS Case ID. This can be found in your immigrant visa stamp in your passport. Alternatively, you could find these numbers in your “immigrant data summary” document that you would have received with your immigrant visa package, your “USCIS Immigrant Fee Handout” document you would have received at the immigrant visa interview.

See here for USCIS’s instructions on how to find the A-Number and DOS Case ID.

Does every category of permanent resident need to pay the fee?

Certain categories of permanent residents are exempt from paying this fee. This includes (1) children who enter the U.S. under the orphan or Hague adoption programs; (2) Iraqi and Afghan special immigrants; Afghan nationals through September 30, 2023; returning lawful permanent residents on SB-1 visas; and K visa holders.

What if I do not receive my green card in the mail?

If you have already paid your immigrant fee and landed as a permanent resident, USCIS expects you will receive your green card within 90 days. It is possible to check the status of your green card through the USCIS “case status online” tool, by putting in your 13-character case number (three alphabet characters followed by ten numbers) which should be found on your immigrant visa. If you have not received the green card after 90 days has passed since you paid the fee, it is possible to reach out using USCIS’s online help form or e-request tool. You can also file the Form I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card.

Related posts:

My green card was never delivered, what can I do?

How do I maintain my green card?

Rights and Responsibilities of a green card holder:

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