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US Immigration Process and Cost

Travel into a country for the purpose of permanent residence there

US Immigration Process and Cost

Thousands of people worldwide are considering immigrating to the United States. Like any other country, the US has procedures that potential immigrants need to follow. These procedures also have an associated cost. 

Before you continue with your immigration application, you should have a closer look at this article, where we’ll discuss the steps to follow as well as the associated cost of each step.

US Immigration Process

Below are the most common steps that potential immigrants to the US must follow:

  1. In most cases, you must be sponsored by a US citizen who’ll file an immigration petition on your behalf. 
  2. Wait for the petition to be approved (a visa must also be available in your chosen category: family-based visa, employment-based visa etc.)
  3. Ensure you get a medical examination.
  4. Go for an interview at a US Consulate in your country.
  5. You’ll be notified if you were approved or declined.

You can also seek immigration through the Diversity Visa Lottery Program. This international program allows people from countries with a low US immigration rate to participate in an annual draw for US immigration visas.

Once your US immigration visa is approved, you’ll have to pay a USCIS Immigration fee. You’ll be sent a sealed envelope of documents you’ll need to supply to US Customs Officials at your chosen US port of entry. You’ll be admitted to enter the US as a permanent resident, and your Greed Card will be sent to you via mail.

US Immigration Costs

Applying for US residency can cost in the region between $4,000 to $11,000. 

USCIS Filing Fees

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is the US Department of Homeland Security constituent. Applying through the USCIS involves paying certain fees. Fees are dependent on the type of visa you’re applying for. 

Fees For Petitions

Fees for petitions vary per application. Typically these fees are between $300 to $600, depending on what type of visa you’re applying for.

Fees For Attorneys

Hiring an attorney isn’t a requirement when you apply for immigration. However, hiring one will speed up your application process. Attorney fees can range between $3,000 to $4,000 for an H-1B visa. Fees can go up as much as $10,000 if you’ve had deportation issues. Getting an attorney to apply for a family-based visa can cost up to $1,500.

Medical and Vaccination Fees

The United States requires all immigration applicants to undergo a medical exam and receive the required vaccinations for specific diseases. Diseases such as measles, rubella, polio, and mumps are some of the vaccinations you must acquire. A physical examination and vaccinations cost up to $1,000.

Biometric Fees

Also known as the Naturalization Fee, you’ll need to pay between $640 to $725 for your application to be processed. Children under 14 years and adults over 70 years don’t need to pay the biometric fee.

Prep Materials For Citizenship

Every immigrant intending to become a US citizen must take the Citizenship Exam. It’s advised that you attend a lesson before taking this exam. The USCIS has a directory of available institutions that provide these services. Some are free, and some cost money.

Other Costs

You’ll have to submit additional documentation if you have a criminal record or a poor immigration history. You’ll also more than likely have to seek assistance from an immigration attorney, which may considerably increase your immigration application costs. Lastly, you’ll need to consider international postage, transport, and other incidental costs from your home country.




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