THE COST OF A SPOUSAL OR ALIEN RELATIVE IMMIGRATION PETITION
A common question my potential clients ask me is how much an immigrant petition often filed under Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative that involves consular processing petition for a spouse or relative usually costs. This is a question that the prospective petitioner must ask to get an idea how much money will be needed to prepare for the whole process.
USCIS fees change from time to time so the various costs can and does frequently change. Make sure that the I-130 fee you are about to pay is correct. Or else, USCIS will reject your petition. Currently, the I-130 fee is $535.00.
Once the I-130 is approved, your file will then be sent to the National Visa Center. Depending on the availability of the visa for your specific category, NVC then sends you an Invoice for payment of another set of fees. The first invoice you will receive is the Affidavit of Support Fee it is $120.00.The Immigrant Visa Application Processing Fee is $325.00 and Depending on the number of beneficiaries you have, principal and other derivative beneficiaries, the total could add up. These fees are paid electronically using your bank account number and routing number. Without paying these fees, you cannot start filling in the online Immigrant Visa Application Form and you also cannot submit your civil documents.
After you have submitted all your documents to the NVC and it has been reviewed as complete and ready, your file will then be sent to the consulate and you will also received a notice for interview appointment. Before the date of interview, the beneficiary or the immigrant visa applicant has to take a medical examination at the St. Luke`s Medical Center Extension Clinic. Presently, the fee for each US visa applicant is P16, 042.50. Children 14 years old and younger are charged at P8, 600.00.
When the beneficiary is issued the immigrant visa, there is another fee that has to be paid before he or she receives the green card. The visa is just a document that allows you to enter the US. The green card is the document that evidences your legal status in the US. The green card will be issued to the legal permanent resident after the USCIS Immigrant Fee of $220.00 is paid. It can be paid online before or after the immigrant arrives in the US.
These are only the basic costs associated with filling a petition that have to be paid. We have not counted yet the other expenses such as passport applications; requesting civil documents e.g. birth certificates, CENOMAR, etc; court fees for annulments and changes of names; NBI clearances; photos; airfare and hotel expenses for the medical exam and the consulate interview and if you hire an immigration professional, his professional fees as well. Filling appeals and responding to Requests for further Evidence can also dramatically increase your costs further. And of course, don’t forget the airfare when the beneficiary finally comes to the US for the first time as an immigrant!
Family-based petitions as simple as a straightforward I-130 filing can be very expensive. So in order not to waste your money, make sure your I-130 is prepared thoroughly from the start and all supporting documents and evidence are available to ensure a smooth process.