New fee in the US for foreigners seeking permanent residence

by Ray Clancy on January 31, 2013

New fee in the US for foreigners seeking permanent residence

Foreign nationals seeking permanent residence in the United States will be subject to a new immigration fee from tomorrow (Friday 01 February). The country’s Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will begin collecting the new fee of $165 immediately.

It said that it has worked closely with the Department of State (DOS) to implement the new fee which allows USCIS to recover the costs of processing immigrant visas in the United States after immigrant visa holders receive their visa packages from DOS.

This includes staff time to handle, file and maintain the immigrant visa package, and the cost of producing and delivering the permanent resident card. ‘In order to simplify and centralise the payment process, applicants will pay online through the USCIS website after they receive their visa package from DOS and before they depart for the United States,’ said a USCIS spokesman.

‘DOS will provide applicants with specific information on how to submit payment when they attend their consular interview. The new fee is in addition to fees charged by DOS associated with an individual’s immigrant visa application,’ he added.

USCIS processes approximately 36,000 immigrant visa packages each month. Prospective adoptive parents whose child will enter the United States under the Orphan or Hague processes are exempt from the new fee. Applicants will not receive a green card until the required USCIS Immigrant fee is paid although a spokesman said that a failure to pay does not affect the lawful status of the applicant. ‘The applicant will have their passport stamped showing their lawful admission and permanent resident status. This stamp is valid for one year but it is strongly advised that new permanent residents pay the immigrant fee as soon as possible to avoid delays in receiving their Permanent Resident Card,’ he explained.

Quote from ExpatForum.com : “When granted AUS Permanent Residency, would we still be able to continue our US Permanent Residency processing ?”

‘Not having a PRC would make it difficult for the individual to show that he or she has complied with the alien registration requirements. It may also make it difficult for the individual to show that he or she is authorised to accept employment in the United States or to return to the United States from temporary foreign travel,’ he added.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Bruce Hoag, PhD February 6, 2013 at 6:40 am

Citizens in the US have been paying fees all their lives in order to live in that country; except they have a different name: Taxes.

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Deckard1138 February 20, 2013 at 5:50 am

Ironic, isn't it Bruce? Now immigrants to the U.S. have to pay even more money for the privilege of unwittingly ensnaring themselves in FBAR and FATCA hell – neither of which is mentioned in their Welcome Wagon visa packages. Said the spider to the fly, "Will you walk into my parlour?"

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