News

Immigrant Visa fees

Ask the US Embassy

Wednesday, February 20, 2013    

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Q: I recently visited the Embassy for an immigrant visa appointment, and the officer told me that I should remember to pay a new immigration fee before I travel to the United States. Is this different than the fee I paid when I began the application process?

A: Since February 1, 2013, US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has required immigrants to pay a new US$165 fee. This fee covers some of the costs associated with processing immigrant visa packages and green cards. This fee is paid after the immigrant visa is issued, so it is not the same as your visa application fee.

The new USCIS fee is paid online using debit, credit or chequing account information. To begin the process, visit www.USCIS.gov/immigrantfee. If you do not have Internet access, another individual may make the payment for you.

Immigrant visa holders are encouraged to pay this fee before travelling to the United States. You will be allowed to enter the United States if you have not paid the fee, but your green card will not be issued until after the fee has been paid. Failure to pay the fee before travelling to the US could, therefore, cause delays in your green card processing. When the US Embassy returns your passport to you via DHL, you will receive an information sheet about the new fee.

The only immigrants who are not required to pay this fee are individuals who receive fiancé(e) visas, returning residents who have SB-1 visas, children who enter the United States under the Orphan or Hague adoption programmes, or Iraqi and Afghan special immigrants.

The Embassy staff in Kingston will answer questions you may have regarding the US Mission, including consular law, regulations and/or practice. In order to respect privacy, staff will not answer questions about specific visa applications. The embassy employs a visa appointment system, so it is only necessary for visa applicants to arrive 15 minutes before their scheduled appointment.

Send your questions to: editorial@jamaicaobserver.com and we will send them to the embassy.

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