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How Do I Pay Filing Fees for an Immigration Application?

How Do I Pay Filing Fees for an Immigration Application?

By Julie Sparks in Immigration | on 2022-08-16 18:11:30

When you are applying for a green card or for United States citizenship, you will have to complete certain government forms, most of which you can download for free on the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website. While the immigration forms themselves are free, you still often need to pay a processing fee. The fees can vary, although waivers of fees are available in some circumstances, and you may be able to reduce your costs by working with an Austin immigration lawyer.

In September 2020, the United States District Court for the Northern District of California granted a request for a nationwide temporary injunction blocking the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) from implementing a final rule significantly increasing the fees payable to USCIS to process certain applications and petitions for immigration benefits. 

On June 29, 2022, NAFSA: Association of International Educators reported that DHS will propose to adjust the fees charged by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for immigration and naturalization benefit requests. On August 3, 2020, DHS adjusted the fees charges for naturalization benefit requests. The DHS imposed new fees and, revised certain fee waivers and exemption policies. Also, they changed certain application requirements with a rule that would rescind the changes made by August 3, 2020. Rule and establish new USCIS fees to recover USCIS operating costs.

Paying Immigration Application Fees and Getting Waivers

If you reside outside the US or its territories and want to file an application or petition where you live. You´ll have to visit the Forms section on the USCIS website to file your form at an international office. USCIS will not accept all forms of payment abroad. So, you need to check the appropriate International USCIS office webpage. In another hand, you can contact the United States Embassy or Consulate for information on how to pay USCIS fees.

When you are inside the United States, you can pay your fees online. You can use a credit or debit card, check, or in person at a USCIS field office. Other ways to pay fees are bank drafts, cashier’s checks, certified checks, and personal checks.

You generally need to mail your check or money order together with your application form. For some forms, you can file your application and pay the fees in person at a USCIS office. But you should refer to the form instructions for more information. 

Approve of a Fee Waiver by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)

USCIS recognizes that some individuals cannot pay filing fees. So, it established a fee waiver process for certain forms and benefit types. USCIS will approve a fee waiver only if a person clearly demonstrates that they are unable to pay the filing fees.

You can request a fee waiver when the form you are filing is eligible. Provide all necessary documentation proving you qualify based upon any one of the following criteria:

  1. You, your spouse, or the head of household are receiving a means-tested benefit such as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Medicaid, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), or Supplemental Security Income (SSI)-
  2. your household income is at or below 150 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines at the time you file, and you are currently experiencing financial hardship preventing you from paying a filing fee, including unexpected medical bills or emergencies.

To request a fee waiver, complete the most current version of Form I-912, Request for Fee Waiver. Sign your fee waiver request and send your fee waiver request with the petition or application for which you are requesting the fee be waived, but do not send a fee waiver request by itself.

Call Us Today to Schedule a Free Consultation with an Austin Immigration Lawyer

If you need help knowing how to avoid costly immigration document fees in the United States, make sure that you have legal assistance. J. Sparks Law, PLLC can help you achieve the most desirable outcome for your case.

Our firm understands what hardships fees can place on families, and we know how to help people get fees reduced or completely dismissed. You can call us at (512) 952-2176 or contact us online for a free consultation so we can review your entire case and go over all of the options you might have.


Julie Sparks

Julie Sparks is Board Certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in Immigration and Nationality Law, one of a few such attorneys in Texas. After 15 years of practice in this field, she has represented immigrants from more than 70 different countries.

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