California Immigration Visa Fees and Fee Waivers

U.S. visa in a passport macro
U.S. visa in a passport macro

When filing applications with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to initiate a petition to change your immigration status, there will usually be an application fee that you have to pay in order for your application to be processed. The amounts of these filing fees, which were last updated in December 2016, will specifically depend on the type of application you are filing.

When it comes to USCIS filing fees, it’s also important to point out that:

  • All fee amounts are in U.S. dollars.
  • The USCIS accepts checks or money orders for payment of application filing fees, and these should be sent in with the application.
  • Applicants are encouraged to thoroughly read the specific instructions on their application, as some additional fees may apply (depending on the type of application being filed and failing to pay the full amount of the fee can result in the rejection of an application or significant processing delays).

Consult the following table for some of the most common USCIS filing fees.

Form No. Form Title USCIS Filing Fee(as of December 2016)
I-129F Petition for Alien Fiancé $535
I-130 Petition for Alien Relative/Family Member $535
I-140 Immigration Petition for Alien Worker $700
I-193 Application for Waiver of Passport and/or Visa $585
I-212 Application for Permission to Reapply for Admission into U.S. after Deportation/Removal $930
I-290B Motion to Reopen or Reconsider a Petition $675
I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence/Adjust Status $1,140
I-601 Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility $930
I-687 Application for Status as a Temporary Resident $1,130
I-698 Application to Adjust Status from Temporary to Permanent Resident $1,670
N-400 Application for Naturalization (Citizenship) $640

Note that this is not a comprehensive fee schedule for the USCIS and that these fees can be updated/raised by USCIS as the agency sees fit (so always consult with the USCIS prior to submitting a fee).

USCIS Fee Waivers

fee waiver is essentially an exemption from having to pay a fee when submitting an application to the USCIS. For applicants who cannot afford to pay the filing fees, fee waivers are available as long as applicants can verify their need (i.e., their inability to pay the fees). Because waived or non-paid filing fees are absorbed by an increase in filing fees for other applicants, the USCIS carefully considers each waiver request it receives (as the agency has explained on its website).

Qualifying for USCIS Fee Waivers

In order to qualify for a fee waiver, applicants must be:

  • Currently receiving a “means-tested” benefit (i.e., any type of benefit that is only paid to people with extremely limited income and resources, as established through a rigorous application process; federal disability benefits are one example of such means-tested benefits)
  • At or below the poverty level when applying for the fee waiver
  • Experiencing some type of verifiable hardship that will prevent them from paying the filing fees (for instance, this can include a serious illness associated with costly medical bills, which has left them with insufficient resources to pay USCIS filing fees).

To apply for a USCIS fee waiver, applicants must:

  • Complete a Form I-912
  • Submit this form with the other form requesting the change in their immigration status
  • Submit hard copies of these forms (in other words, applicants cannot file for fee waivers online).

Los Angeles, California Immigration Lawyers at the Hanlon Law Group, P.C.

At the Hanlon Law Group, P.C., our LA immigration attorneys have more than 15 years of experience successfully representing clients in various types of immigration cases, including those that involve the most basic immigration applications to those associated with extremely complicated federal court litigation. Our firm offers state-of-the art technology to deliver these services efficiently while also providing each of our clients with old-fashioned personal service. That means you can count on your case progressing as quickly as possible while feeling confident that your Hanlon Law Group lawyer will answer your questions quickly, clearly and honestly.

To learn more about our citizenship, immigration and deportation defense services contact our Los Angeles immigration attorneys today by calling (626) 684-3712 or (866) 227-5527 or by emailing us using the form at the upper right-hand side of the screen. From our office in Pasadena, we serve clients throughout the Los Angeles area, across the state of California and from around the world.

We offer free, confidential initial consultations to provide potential clients with expert advice regarding their immigration law needs. Additionally, we are able to provide immigration legal services in various languages, including in Spanish, Mandarin, Cantonese, Vietnamese, Korean, Japanese, Bahasa Indonesian, Tagalog and Fukienese.