Starting today, Feb. 1, 2013, foreign nationals seeking permanent residence in the United States will need to pay a new $165 USCIS Immigrant Fee. This new fee is in addition to fees charged by the U.S. Department of State (DOS) associated with an individual’s immigrant visa application.
Applicants will pay the new fee online at www.uscis.gov/immigrantfee after they receive their visa package from DOS and before they depart for the United States. When applicants attend their consular interview, DOS will provide specific information on how to submit payment.
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.
The new fee allows USCIS to recover the cost of processing that is performed in the United States after immigrant visa holders receive their packages from DOS. More details about its implementation are available in the Federal Register.