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 GreenCardFees - Greenwood Law

How Much is the Green Card Fee in NC?

While the U.S.A. green card fee will be a small part of your entire immigration journey, it’s still an important part to consider and be aware of. USCIS has changed the immigration fees for 2024, so now more than ever is a great time to do your research to prepare for your immigration in the coming year. To determine your green card fees, you first have to know what type of immigration you are filing for. Are you coming to the U.S. on the basis of a family visa, or employment based immigration?

If you aren’t sure yet, don’t stress! An experienced immigration attorney can tell you what type of immigration you should apply for. There are multiple different paths to take, and it’s possible that more than one will apply to you! Just like the old saying “all roads lead to Rome,” many different immigration documents can take you there. But there will always be one road that suits your needs the best. Once you determine that path, you can start gathering information and funds related to the expected cost of immigration.

What IS a green card fee? A green card fee is an amount of money paid to the USCIS to process your green card application with the U.S. government. According to the USCIS, this money represents the majority of what it takes to run their organization. It’s important to note that green card fees do not vary from state to state. For example, there is no special “fee” for North Carolina. Instead, they are all decided by the USCIS on a national level.

How Much Does It Cost to Get a Green Card?

There are several factors that will go into your overall cost of getting a green card. Just like different plants need different temperatures, water levels and amounts of sunshine to grow, the type of green card you require will influence the associated cost factors. Generally, employment based green cards cost more than family visas. You will have to pay a green card filing fee, government processing fees, miscellaneous fees (photographs for passports, mailing services, etc.), travel expenses to get to appointments that may be in different cities, fees for medical reasons such as required appointments or vaccinations, and any attorney’s fees. More on that later!

In general, from start to finish, you can expect to spend a few thousand dollars in total to achieve your U.S. Green Card in 2024. Many choose to save up before starting the process. This is smart, and will help the process continue without any unexpected delays. The faster you can get things ready on your end, the more it’s out of your hands!

Important Immigration News: USCIS Green Card Fees Will Increase in 2024

Starting April 1, 2024, the filing fees for most U.S. green cards will increase. Filing fees that previously costed $400-600 will now cost $1,200-1,300. Some classifications, such as form I-526, I526E, and L classification will increase as much as 200%. Not all green card prices will be affected. Here are some of the biggest changes:

  • Form I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status will increase from $1,225 to $1,440
  • I-129 Petition for L Nonimmigrant workers will increase from $460 to $1,385
  • I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status (paper filing) will increase from $370 to $620
  • H-1B Registration Process Fee will increase from $10 to $215

Common Green Card Costs and Fees

It’s hard to say what the most common types of green cards are, but the USCIS does point out some popular immigration types, and we can make assumptions from there. This chart shows a list of the most common green card fees and costs before and after April 1st, 2024.

Type of Green CardFee Before April 1st, 2024Fee After April 1st, 2024
Form N-400, Application for Naturalization (online filing)$640$710
Form N-400, Application for Naturalization (paper filing)$640$760
USCIS H-1B and H-1B1 Classifications$460$780
USCIS L Classification$460$1,385
I-90 Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card (online filing)(with biometric services)$540$415
I-130 Petition for Alien Relative (online filing)$535$625
I-129CW CNMI-Only Nonimmigrant Transitional Worker and I-129 Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker: E, H-3, P, Q, R, or TN Classifications$460$1,015
I-192 Application for Advance Permission to Enter as Non-immigrant (CBP)$585$1,100
I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status (online filing) (with biometrics services)$455$420

How to Pay Green Card Fee

There used to be two different ways to pay your green card fee. By mail or online. Now, the USCIS requires that you pay online and does not allow any other type of payment. In fact, it’s better to do as much as you can online instead of using paper. It could be said that the USCIS gives monetary incentives to those who file their applications online instead of on paper. Take the N-400 application as an example, a paper filing will increase the overall price of filing by $50.

You can pay your green card fee right on the USCIS website as long as you follow the requirements. If you are unsure about this process, it’s best to consult your immigration attorney to confirm the best way to send payment. What if you can’t afford to pay your green card fees at this time?

If you find yourself wanting to immigrate but unable to come up with the money to pay, you aren’t out of options! First, you could qualify for a fee waiver under certain circumstances, such as financial hardships or receiving public benefits. Additionally, some organizations and immigration attorneys can assist with putting together a payment plan for you. There’s also some nonprofit organizations that help those under certain situations immigrate to the U.S. If there’s a will, there’s a way!

Other Potential Fees

As before mentioned, there are other fees associated with green cards that many forget to take into account! If you Google green card fees, you’re likely getting information as to the actual filing fee. To be fair, yes, the filing fee is a very important part of the process. But it may be a small part compared to the other costs you may not have expected. For example, let’s say you are applying from outside of the country. You will at some point need to travel to the U.S.A. for parts of your application. You will need to buy a plane ticket, hotel room, and for food during your stay. Other fees include:

  • Required doctors’ visits and vaccination fees – If you’re coming from another country it’s likely that the U.S. requires some additional vaccinations before integrating into society. Here is the list of vaccinations that may be required. You may also be required to do an Immigration Medical Exam. This varies in cost, but out of pocket can be anywhere from $100-$500.
  • If you do not speak English, you may need to hire a translator for certain meetings. In addition, how are you learning English for the verbal exam? If English has been difficult for you to learn, the services of a tutor or English teacher may be needed.
  • Document pricing, such as to get a birth certificate, marriage certificate, etc.
  • Professional photography fees are usually minimal, but are needed for your actual physical green card.
  • The ongoing immigration green card renewal price. This is done every 10 years, and costs $455.

Helpful Links Section

If you were researching a certain car before you buy it, where would you go for the best information on the car? Likely the dealership or manufacturer! Just like the car manufacturer knows everything about the car they sell, the U.S. government has immigration agencies in place to help aid your journey. When looking for the right information, it’s always good to go to the source or an attorney that is licensed in immigration law. Here are some government resources to assist with answering your questions and estimate green card prices. 

Experienced Green Card Attorneys

If you’re in the process of obtaining a green card, seeking guidance from an attorney is highly advisable. Navigating the complexities of immigration law can be daunting, and an experienced attorney can provide invaluable assistance. From understanding eligibility requirements to navigating the application process and handling any potential obstacles, an attorney’s expertise can make a significant difference in your journey toward obtaining permanent residency. Consulting with an attorney ensures that you have the support and guidance you need to navigate the process successfully and increase your chances of a positive outcome.

Also, let’s be honest, immigration can be confusing when you’re trying to do it yourself. On top of handling your own life and family, immigration can be an added stress to already filled calendar. That’s yet another way an attorney can assist you. If you’re interested in speaking to an North Carolina immigration attorney, contact us today.

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