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Breaking Down the Expenses: Form I-130 Filing Fees Explained

Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, is typically filed by a U.S. citizen or a lawful permanent resident (green card holder) who wants to help a family member immigrate to the United States. The primary purpose of this form is to establish a qualifying familial relationship and request that a visa be made available to the beneficiary (the family member who wishes to immigrate). Here are the main categories of people who can file Form I-130:

  • U.S. Citizens can file Form I-130 for:
    • Spouse
    • Unmarried child under 21 years of age
    • Unmarried son or daughter 21 years of age or older
    • Married son or daughter of any age
    • Siblings (if the U.S. citizen is 21 years of age or older)
  • Lawful Permanent Residents (Green Card Holders) can file Form I-130 for:
    • Spouse
    • Unmarried child under 21 years of age
    • Unmarried son or daughter 21 years of age or older

The filing process involves submitting Form I-130, along with supporting documentation and the appropriate filing fee, to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Once the I-130 petition is approved, the beneficiary may be eligible to apply for an immigrant visa if they are outside the United States or adjust their status to lawful permanent resident if they are already in the United States. The specific procedures and requirements may vary depending on the family relationship and the beneficiary’s location. It’s important to consult the USCIS website or seek legal counsel for the most up-to-date information and guidance on filing Form I-130.

What is the cost of filing Form I-130?

The filing fee for Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative is $535. However, fees for immigration-related forms and services can change over time, and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) periodically updates its fee schedule.

We recommend checking the official USCIS website or contacting USCIS directly to get the most current information on the filing fee for Form I-130. Fee updates can occur, so it’s essential to verify the current fee amount before submitting your application. Additionally, there may be other fees associated with the immigration process, such as visa application fees or adjustment of status fees, depending on your specific circumstances.

Are there any additional costs associated with filing Form I-130?

Yes, in addition to the filing fee for Form I-130, there may be additional costs associated with the immigration process, depending on your specific circumstances. Some of the common additional costs and fees include:

  • Biometrics Fee: If required, you may need to pay a biometrics fee. This fee covers the cost of fingerprinting and background checks. The biometrics fee is $85.
  • Visa Application Fees: If the beneficiary is applying for an immigrant visa from outside the United States, there may be visa application fees associated with the U.S. Department of State.
  • Adjustment of Status Fees: If the beneficiary is already in the United States and is eligible to adjust their status to a lawful permanent resident, there will be fees associated with the adjustment of status process. These fees can include the Form I-485 filing fee and the biometrics fee.
  • Attorney Fees: Some individuals choose to hire an immigration attorney to help with the application process. Attorney fees can vary widely depending on the complexity of the case and the attorney’s rates.
  • Medical Examination: In some cases, beneficiaries may be required to undergo a medical examination by a USCIS-approved civil surgeon. The cost of the medical examination will vary depending on the physician and location.
  • Translation and Documentation Costs: If any of your supporting documents are not in English, you may need to have them translated, which can incur additional costs. You may also need to obtain copies of documents, such as birth certificates, marriage certificates, etc., which could have associated fees.
  • Travel Costs: If the beneficiary needs to travel for consular processing or interviews, there will be travel-related costs, such as transportation, accommodation, and meals.

It’s important to carefully review the specific requirements and procedures for your case and be aware of any additional costs that may apply. Consulting with an immigration attorney or checking the USCIS website can provide more detailed and up-to-date information about the fees and costs associated with your particular situation. Keep in mind that fee amounts and requirements can change, so it’s essential to stay informed about the latest updates.

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