According to the phases of the process and costs you need to have in mind, we divided green cards expenses into the following categories:
- Government Filing Fees
- Attorney’s Fees
- Adjustment of Status Medical Exam Fee
- Postage to Mail Adjustment of Status Application to USCIS
- Immigration Photos
- Costs of Travel
You can also calculate required fees using the USCIS calculator.
Government Application Fees for Adjustment of Status
Before U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will let you apply for a green card, your sponsor, in this case, your spouse, will have to file an immigrant petition, the form I-130 Petition for Alien Relative, to classify you as potentially eligible.
The filing fee for Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative is $535.
The applicant also has to pay the filing fee for an adjustment of the status application which is $1,140.
Also, there is a fee for USCIS to take “biometrics” (fingerprints and so forth). Currently, this fee is $85.
Adjustment of Status Medical Exam Fee
A medical examination is required for all immigrant and some nonimmigrant visa seekers and adjustment of status applicants. The purpose of providing the medical exam is to determine if an immigrant has a medical condition(s) that can pose a risk to public health in the United States.
This means that the applicant has to submit a Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record (Form I-693). Besides, it is good to bring medical history, records of vaccinations, or any prior conducted chest X-rays (if any), and a letter from your doctor discussing any health problems or treatment for an ongoing problem.
Your medical exam should show that no health-related grounds of inadmissibility will prevent you from green-card approval.
There is a limited number of approved physicians to choose from, so the fee for the medical exam report varies by doctor. The costs are between $75 and $350 for the basic exam and filing out Form I-693. There can be additional costs if any vaccination is needed.
You don’t have to do the exam before you get the date for the interview, since if too much time pass (over one year), the examination is invalid, and you would have to pay again.
Within your application package, you will need to include some documents that can be in other language than Enlish. This is usually case with documents you prove your nationality, such as a birth certificate or a passport.
If you intend to submit within your green card application package any documents in a foreign language, you have to include a translation of each document. This translation needs to be certified as accurate by the translator. W cannot exactly tell how much you will pay for these services fee, but for example, for a certified translation of a birth certificate or a passport you will probably pay between $20 and $40.
Attorney’s Fees to Assist With Adjustment of Status Application
Hiring an attorney is not obligatory in this process. You can handle it on your own. Still, it’s highly advisable to have an immigration attorney by your side in each phase of the process. An immigration lawyer will go through your case and provide you with an in-depth analysis and define the best strategy to implement. Also, your attorney will do necessary paperwork that can be overwhelmed and ensure you haven’t missed providing any important evidence and filed all applications properly. If needed, the attorney can accompany you to the green card interview at USCIS facilities since marriage-based applications require an in-person interview.
The costs for an immigration attorney vary but usually depend on the complexity of the case and any particular complications (post criminal conviction), which the attorney must additionally analyze and help you prepare to deal with it, whether you’d like the attorney to accompany you to the USCIS interview, etc.
Although it can seem that the process is already expensive enough and that an attorney is just an extra cost that you can avoid, bear in mind that if anything unexpected comes up during the application process, the costs will go up. Also, it will take more time to deal with these changes, but a good lawyer could have prevented it.
Sending the Application to USCIS
After you collected all the forms and supporting documents of your green card application and made sure you filled it correctly, make sure to put it in order neatly. It would be safest to send the application package to United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) by certified mail or courier service to avoid loss. You’ll likely pay at least $10 for mailing.
The immigrant, and sometimes the U.S. petitioner, will need to submit photos with the applications. These costs will vary depending on the number of applications, but it will be around $15 per set.
Costs of Travel and Parking Near USCIS Offices
Travel costs are related to attending biometrics appointments and a green card interview at a USCIS office. Both the petitioner and the sponsor have to attend it, so your transport costs will depend on how you will get there and if you need to spend the night if it’s too far from your home.
Most USCIS offices are in big cities, so keep in mind that the parking can be expensive.
Marriage Green Card Cost for Spouses Living Abroad
There are two different methods of applying for a marriage green card: the ‘Adjustment of Status’ procedure and the ‘consular processing’ method.
In case that you are not in the United States, you will take the route through consular processing, the only method available to people who are not physically present in the United States.
First, you need to file Form I-130 which costs the same as for spouses in the U.S. After the National Visa Center NVC approves the petition, you will receive the notice stating that a visa is available. This is the time for you to may apply your application at a U.S. Department of State consulate abroad for an immigrant visa in order to come to the United States and be admitted as a permanent resident.
The consular processing doesn’t require the applicant to submit Form I-485, but after the approval of Form I-130, you have to submit the Form DS-260, Immigration Visa Application. The filing fee for DS-260 is $325.
Your sponsor will have to submit the Form I-864, or Affidavit of Support to ensure that he or she will be able to financially support you in the U.S. if the sponsored immigrant files this form with USCIS or abroad with the Department of State (DOS) there is no filing fee to pay, but if you file it in the U.S. it costs $120.