There are more than 44 million immigrants currently living in the United States. Over half of these folks will inevitably go through the green card or naturalization process to achieve U.S. citizenship, lowering unemployment and crime rates alike. The process of becoming a U.S. citizen is challenging and requires preparing financially to apply, whether with legal representation or not. Earlier this year, USCIS proposed a dramatic fee increase that would impact future applicants seeking green cards or U.S. Citizenship. The following are common forms and their associated fees as of publication to be used as guidance only. For updated information, head over to the USCIS website and chat with an immigration attorney about your options.
Do I Need an Immigration Lawyer to File Paperwork with USCIS?
No, you do not need an attorney to file paperwork with USCIS, but it is highly recommended. An immigration attorney understands the complex immigration process and can reduce the likelihood of USCIS rejecting your application. Whether intentional or not, any error on your application can result in a denial. An immigration attorney can review your application and check for any potential errors before filing it with USCIS. An attorney can be immensely helpful in guiding you through language barriers, numerous paperwork options, and bureaucratic delays, which can cause frustration and waste your time.
Filing Fee Costs: What to Expect
When hiring an immigration attorney, there are standard filing fees you should expect to pay. USCIS has an online fee calculator where folks can accurately estimate their filing fees and reduce the chances of being denied for incorrect filing fees. Depending on what kind of immigration attorney you hire will also impact how much you can expect to pay. Many immigration attorneys have adopted a flat-fee schedule for a standard green card or K-1 visas rather than an hourly rate. A flat fee arrangement enables applicants to budget more accurately for the total cost of handling their legal issues. Other variables that affect the final expense are the type of application, the complexity of your case, and the region of the U.S. you’re filing the paperwork. If you decide to retain legal representation, ask your attorney what kind of fee schedule they use during the initial consultation.
Common USCIS form filing fees
The following are typical forms and associated USCIS costs to file for a green card and U.S. citizenship as of May 2023. In January of 2023, USCIS proposed a fee increase that could be implemented as soon as Summer 2023, which would dramatically increase the current fee schedule. Check the USCIS website to ensure filing fees are accurate and up to date before submitting payment.
DS-260: Online Immigrant Visa Application
“Consular Processing”: Apply for a green card from outside the United States
File alongside I-130
DS-261: Online Choice of Address and Agent
Informs the State Department on how to contact you if you’re applying from outside of the U.S.
File alongside I-130; DS-260
1-129F: Petition for Fiancé(e)
Applying for a K-1 visa to bring your fiancé(e) (and their children, if any) to the U.S. in order to get married
Applying for a K-3 visa to bring spouse (and their children) to the United States to apply for lawful permanent residence (green card)
K-1 Visa process
1-130: Family Sponsorship Petition
Establishes that a valid family relationship exists between the U.S. citizen or green card holder and their relative who seeks a green card
CR-1; Spousal Visa
I-130A: Supplemental Information Form
Supplements Form I-130 with additional information, such as employment, family, and residential history, about the spouse seeking a green card
I-131: Application for a Travel Document: Advance Parole
Requesting permission to travel outside the U.S. while the green card application is pending
Apply at the same time as Form I-485 and Form 1-130.
$0 (if you’ve already paid the filing fee for Form I-485)
Applying for a green card from within the U.S. through an Adjustment of Status. Biometrics services fee is required from applicants 14-78 years of age.
After submitting Form I-130.
$1,140 + $85 biometrics fee
If under 14 & filing with a parent—$750
I-693: Report of Medical Examination and Vaccinations
Documenting the medical examination results required for a green card
File at the same time as Form I-485.
I-751: Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence
Upgrades a conditional green card that expires after 4 years to a 10-year permanent green card
File within 90-day period before conditional residency expiration
$595 + $85 biometrics fee
I-765: Application for Employment Authorization Document
Requests to work lawfully in the United States while green card application is processing
$0 (if you’ve already paid for I-485; otherwise, $410)
I-864: Financial Support Form
Demonstrates that the sponsoring relative (U.S. citizen or green card holder) or the joint sponsor meets the income requirements to support the relative seeking a green card once in the U.S.
At the same time as Form I-485 or when the immigrant visa interview has been set at the applicant’s consular office
I-864A: Contract Between Sponsor and Household Member
Promises to make your income and/or assets available to help the sponsoring relative meet the income requirements
File with I-184
I-90: Application to Replace Green Card
Applying to renew or replace an expired, soon-to-expire, lost, stolen, or damaged green cards
$540 (+$85 biometrics fee)
DS-117: Application to Determine Returning Resident Status
Applying for a Returning Resident Visa to reenter the U.S. after traveling outside the U.S. for 1 year or longer
When an applicant did not apply for a reentry permit before leaving the U.S.
G-28: Notice of Entry of Appearance as Attorney
Informing USCIS of legal representation after your naturalization application (Form N-400) was denied
After Form N-400 was issued a denial
I-131: Application for Travel Document: Reentry Permit
Requesting permission to Reenter the United States if you anticipate needing to travel and stay outside the U.S. for more than a year
To meet continuous Presence requirement
$575 (+$85 Biometrics fee if age 14-79)
N-336: Request for a Hearing on a Decision in Naturalization Proceedings
Requesting a hearing from USCIS to reconsider their decision to deny a naturalization application
Applying for U.S. Citizenship through a process called naturalization after meeting USCIS eligibility requirements
$640 (+$85 biometrics fee unless exempt)
N-426: Request for Certification of Military or Naval Service
Requesting military service records for a green card holder seeking U.S. citizenship
File with N-400
N-565: Application for Replacement Naturalization/Citizenship
Requesting a replacement naturalization or citizenship certificate that was lost, stolen, or damaged
$555 ($0 if requesting a replacement because of a USCIS error)
N-600: Application for Certificate of Citizenship
Requesting a new certificate that proves your status as U.S. citizen
Upon completing the naturalization process
$1170 ($0 for members and veterans of the U.S. military)
N-600K: Application for Citizenship and Issuance of Certificate
Claiming U.S. citizenship for a child who lives outside the United States and who has at least one U.S.-citizen parent
N-648: Medical Certification for Disability Exceptions
Requesting an exemption to the English and civics testing requirements for naturalization based on a physical or developmental disability or mental impairment
Submit with N-400
* Filing fees updated as of May 2023
Below are other no-cost forms that may be useful during the application process. If you are concerned about the cost of filing, there are forms you can submit to reduce or even waive your fees.
AR-11: Change of Address
Notifying USCIS about a change to your address
G-1145: Request for Electronic Notification
Requesting a notification via email or text that USCIS has accepted your form
G-1450: Credit Card Payment Authorization
Requesting to pay filing fees with a credit card
I-865: Sponsor’s Notice of Change of Address
Letting USCIS know about a change to sponsor’s address
I-942: Request for Reduced Fee
Requesting to reduce a filing fee if household income is between 150-200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines for your household size
I-912: Request for Fee Waiver
Requesting to waive a filing fee because you have low income, are experiencing financial hardship, and /or receive public benefits
When applying for a green card or U.S. citizenship, there are the base costs of the application and various paperwork. However, there are additional associated costs for filing that should be included when estimating your total cost, including the State Department’s processing fee ($325), which should be included with each application. Preparing financially for external costs like the medical examination, updated passports, and travel will mitigate the stress of this process. Speak to a licensed immigration attorney for a detailed breakdown before submitting your application.
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