Chapter 3 - Fees

Requestors must include any required fees with the submission of a benefit request to USCIS.[1] This payment must be in U.S. currency.

The fee amount for each benefit request is controlled by regulation and identified in the corresponding form instructions.[2] The total fee amount for each form is not determined solely by the fee required for the associated form.[3] Additional fees may be required, such as the biometric services fee or the fraud detection and prevention fee.[4] The additional services needed in a given situation dictate which additional fees are added to the total amount. The form instructions for the particular form generally indicate when the parties filing a request must pay an additional fee and the amount of that fee.

USCIS may waive the fee for certain immigration benefit requests when the person requesting the benefit is unable to pay the fee.[5] Certain forms or categories of requestors may also be exempt from fees. The USCIS Fee Schedule (Form G-1055 (PDF, 336 KB)) provides a list of forms and associated fees or exemptions.

A. Fee Submission

Once USCIS receives the proper fee, USCIS accepts the submission of the benefit request and sends the benefit requestor a receipt notice. USCIS rejects submissions that do not contain valid payment of the correct fee amount.[6] If the payment is not collectable and USCIS has approved the benefit request, USCIS may revoke the approval with notice.[7]

If a check is returned for insufficient funds (NSF), USCIS attempts to collect payment from the remitter institution a second time. If the instrument used to pay a fee is returned as unpayable a second time, USCIS rejects the filing and imposes a $30 charge.[8] If the check is returned by the remitter institution for any reasons other than NSF, such as stop payment, fraud, or closed account, the check cannot be submitted a second time. In all applicable cases, USCIS sends a notice regarding any returned checks or unfunded accounts.

B. Paying USCIS Fees [Reserved]

C. Refunds

In general, fees submitted to USCIS are non-refundable, regardless of the ultimate decision on the benefit request. There are a few exceptions to this rule, such as when USCIS made an error that resulted in the unnecessary filing of a form, or the filing of the wrong fee. For example, USCIS refunds the fee if it advises an applicant to file a waiver application on a ground of inadmissibility that is inapplicable to that applicant.

If a benefit requestor believes that he or she is entitled to a refund of a fee, the requestor should contact the USCIS Contact Center, or submit a written request for a refund to the office with jurisdiction over the benefit request.

USCIS reviews the request for a refund and either approves or denies the request based on the available information. If the officer finds USCIS made an error, he or she should complete a Request for Refund of Fee (Form G-266). USCIS then notifies the requestor of its decision on the request.

Failure to Submit Required Initial Evidence

Form instructions provide the initial evidence that a benefit requestor must submit when filing a form. If USCIS denies a benefit request because the requestor failed to submit the required initial evidence, USCIS will also deny a request for a refund of the fee.[9]


1. [^] See 8 CFR 103.7(a)(1).

2. [^] See 8 CFR 103.7(b)(1). See the USCIS website for a complete list of all forms and form instructions.

3. [^] See 8 CFR 103.2(a)(9).

4. [^] See 8 CFR 103.7(b)(1). See 8 CFR 103.7(b)(1)(i)(HHH).

5. [^] See 8 CFR 103.7(c). See also INA 286(m) (authorizing USCIS fees to recover the costs of services provided without charge). 

6. [^] See 8 CFR 103.7(a)(2).

7. [^] See 8 CFR 103.7(a)(2).

8. [^] See 8 CFR 103.7(a)(2).

9. [^] See 8 CFR 103.2(b)(8)(ii). A petitioner or applicant may need to provide additional evidence to establish eligibility for the benefit sought at the time of an interview or after USCIS issues a Request for Evidence (RFE).

8 CFR 103.2 - Submission and adjudication of benefit requests

8 CFR 103.7 - Fees

INA 103, 8 CFR 103 - Powers and duties of the Secretary, the Under Secretary, and the Attorney General

INA 286(m) - Immigration examinations fee account   


No forms available at this time.


No appendices available at this time.

Technical Update - Implementation of Fees for Submission of Benefit Requests

December 02, 2019

This technical update incorporates into Volume 1 the policy guidance that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced October 25, 2019, regarding submission and acceptance of fees for immigration benefit requests. This guidance became effective December 2, 2019.



POLICY ALERT - Fees for Submission of Benefit Requests

October 25, 2019

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is issuing policy guidance in the USCIS Policy Manual regarding submission and acceptance of fees for immigration benefit requests. This guidance becomes effective December 2, 2019.



Technical Update - Replacing the Term “Foreign National”

October 08, 2019

This technical update replaces all instances of the term “foreign national” with “alien” throughout the Policy Manual as used to refer to a person who meets the definition provided in INA 101(a)(3) [“any person not a citizen or national of the United States”].


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