New Immigrant Visa Fee takes effect February 1, 2013

Here’s a point-by-point look at everything you need to know about the new Immigrant Visa (IV) fee that takes effect tomorrow:

Who Pays?

  • Fee Amount: $165.00
  • Applies to MOST individuals who receive an Immigrant Visa (IV) package from a U.S. Consulate/Embassy (including Canada and Mexico). Children who enter the United States under the Orphan or Hague adoption programs, Iraqi and Afghan special immigrants, returning residents (SB-1s), and those issued K visas are the only immigrant visa cases exempt from paying the new fee.
  • ONLY applies to those visas issued on 02/01/2013 or thereafter.  So, if a person was issued their visa in 2012 or January 2013 but will not enter the U.S. until 02/01/2013 or later then the new fee will NOT apply.

How to Pay?

  • MUST be paid after the IV interview but before making their entry into the U.S.
  • MUST be paid online at: www.uscis.gov/immigrantfee
    • using checking account information, or
    • debit or credit card information.
    • All check payments must be drawn on a U.S. bank.
  • The fee can be paid by the applicant or any other person on the applicant’s behalf.
  • There is no fee waiver for this payment

What if I don’t Pay?

  • Failure to pay will result in the immigrant not receiving their Permanent Resident card (green card).
  • The immigrant will still be admitted into the U.S. and will receive the I-551 stamp that is valid for one year.  USCIS will not re-stamp after  that first year expires.
  • Failure to pay will result in USCIS sending a Request for Evidence (RFE) 45 days after entry and a 2nd letter thereafter.
  • Since you are required by law to carry evidence of your status, you may experience difficulties in obtaining employment, benefits and re-entry into the United States from abroad if USCIS withholds your green card based on nonpayment of this required fee.

Berardi Immigration Lawyers are ready to answer your questions regarding the new immigrant visa fee and as well as other family based immigration or employment based immigration questions.  Contact us today for a consultation.

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