It is true that nothing in this world is free, neither the application for a Green Card. Getting a U.S Visa requires you a lot of fees to be paid. There are many fees to be paid depending on the stage of the application process you are. So, if you are wondering how much does getting a Green Card would cost you, this article will discuss the fees for petitions, forms, and additional administrative fees.

Fees for Petitions

Unlike the U.S. Visa, Green Card is needed so you can enter and stay in the U.S for as long as you want. And to get a U.S. permanent residency or Green Card, the applicant must get an approved petition by the U.S Citizenship and Immigration Services or the USCIS. And the petition must be filed by either a close family member like your fiancé/spouse, child, parent, or sibling. That if you are applying for a family-based Green Card, also by your employer if you are working in the U.S, or by you as the applicant himself or herself if you plan on investing in the U.S.

Basically, the petition fees that must be paid to USCIS should be paid by the petitioner. So, for example, if someone else is petitioning on your behalf, they must pay the fee. Technically, the petition will not be processed if the fees required are not paid. Enumerated below are the most common petitions filed, their cost, and the type of immigrant visa they are necessary for.

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

Green Card Application Fee

Once the petition has been processed and is approved by the USCIS, you will have to apply for the visa at the U.S Embassy in your country where you live. During the application, you must pay the said fees. It is paid by the applicants and not by the petitioners. You will have to submit one of the three application forms depending on the type of visa you are applying for:

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

The  Green Card application fees of applying are as follows:

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

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

Green Card Application Supporting Fees

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

Medical Examination Fees

All applicants who want to visit, or stay and immigrate to the U.S must go through a medical examination and vaccination performed personally by a licensed doctor. This is to ensure that you are fit and healthy and have taken all the vaccines necessary in the U.S. Medical examination goes first before your interview, and will most likely have to pay for it. The exact cost varies by the types of tests that the U.S Embassy requires you undergo and the cost of medical examination in your country of residence.

Administrative Fees Such as Filing, Translating, Copying, Printing, Notarizing Documents, Etc.

Additionally, on top of the medical fees, you will be asked to translate documents from your native language, notarize, print, and copy, so, you will be responsible for these fees and must pay whatever rate is in your country in order for it to be processed.

USCIS Immigrant Fee

Given your visa is approved, so, before you travel to the U.S you have to pay the USCIS immigrant fee which costs you $220, and is paid by all those who are moving and living permanently to the U.S.

Other Fees

Aside from the fees for petitioning and applying, there might also be other fees that you need to anticipate, either the sponsor or the applicants themselves must pay.

DOL Labor Certification Fees

For the EB-1 visa, EB-2 visa, and EB-3 visa, the employers must obtain a labor certification from the U.S Department of Labor or the DOL. This certification will be presented to prove to USCIS that the company made efforts to hire an employee who is a U.S citizen or currently a permanent resident, but was unable to. This could be necessary because the employer could not find someone who has the skills that the company is looking for, or the person was unavailable or not willing to get hired for the job.

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

Diversity Visa Lottery

The Diversity Visa would cost you initially for the application fee of $330.

Fees to Be Paid Once and After You Move to the U.S

Fees don’t end there. You also need to pay additional fees when you move to the U.S with an immigrant visa already to get the status of a legal permanent resident or the LPR. Below are the two documents that applicants must pay and the rates:

  • Form I–765, Application for Employment Authorization – this form costs $410 and it 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 with the 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 (applicants under the age of 14 years) – this form is for those with an immigrant visa who are under 14 years old, and it costs $750.