What Is a Filing Fee and Why Should I Pay It?
If you plan to file any type of immigration petition or application with USCIS, there is most likely a filing fee involved (and sometimes more than one). Filing fees are what USCIS charges for accepting submitted documents for processing. Paying these fees is crucial to your submission process: if a form is submitted without the correct fee, it will be rejected. Here are some good things to know when paying your filing fees to USCIS.
How Do I Know if I Have to Pay a Filing Fee? How Much Is My Filing Fee?
In addition, USCIS has made finding the details of your forms and filing fees fairly simple. You can consult their forms page, search for your specific form, and then access the form and the fees involved. In addition, there is a PDF file titled “USCIS Fee Schedule“, which you can download and use to verify the fees involved. which you can download and use to verify the fee information for all immigration forms. It is important to check the USCIS website for this information: fees change frequently and the USCIS site will always have the most current fee amounts for your forms.
Another tool that can be used to calculate filing fees is the fee calculator . This is especially useful for people who have forms that may vary in fees depending on the applicant (e.g., varying fees for different age groups). The calculator can determine the exact filing fees for any form processed at a USCIS lockbox facility.
How Do I Pay My Filing Fee?
If you live within the U.S., you can generally pay your fees online by credit/debit card or bank withdrawal; by mail by card, check or money order; or in person at a USCIS office. If you mail your applications or forms, you must send your check or money order along with your applications. In addition, if you wish to pay with a credit card while filing by mail, you must complete and sign a G-1450 , which is an authorization for credit card transactions.
If you file online, the USCIS system will guide you through payment of your fees with an accepted payment form. You cannot use cash to pay application fees.
If you live outside the U.S., you should check the accepted payments through the appropriate USCIS international office website or contact the U.S. embassy or consulate for information on how to pay your fees.
How to Write the Check to Immigraiton?
USCIS is very specific about the format they require for checks sent. Here is an image they have posted on their website that demonstrates how to correctly write a check for a filing fee.
The 6 important things USCIS wants to make sure you remember when writing a check (in layman’s terms):
The date should be written in the U.S. month/day/year style.
ALWAYS write the check for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (no abbreviation).
Use numbers to show the exact filing fee for the service you are requesting.
Spell out the dollar amount of the filing fee and write the “cents” as a fraction over 100.
Write a brief description of what the filing fee is for (you may write whatever form you are submitting).
Sign the check with your legal name.