The new fee is being imposed so USCIS can recover the costs of processing immigrant visas after individuals receive their visa packages from the Department of State abroad.
Beginning Feb. 1, 2013, an new fee of $165 will be collected by theU.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) from foreign nationals seeking permanent residence in the United States.
The costs of processing immigrant visas in the United States after immigrant visa holders receive their visa packages from DOS will berecovered by this fee. The costs that CIS plans to recover include staff time to handle, file and maintain the immigrant visa package, and the cost of producing and delivering the permanent resident card.
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. 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 and does not replace fees charged by DOS associated with an individual’s immigrant visa application. This process was established to simplify and centralize the payment process
Approximately 36,000 immigrant visas are processed by USCIS every month. Children will enter the United States under the Orphan or Hague processes their prospective adoptive parents (PAPS) are exempt from the new fee.