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New USCIS immigrant fee to be implemented
16 January 2013

Effective February 1, 2013, all individuals issued immigrant visas overseas must pay a $165.00 USCIS Immigrant Fee before traveling to the United States. Only prospective adoptive parents whose child(ren) is/are entering the United States under either the Orphan or Hague Process, Iraqi and Afghan special immigrants who were employed by the U.S. government, returning residents, and those issued K visas are exempt from the new fee. The fee must be paid after the immigrant visa has been issued but before the applicant travels to the United States on the visa. 

Immigrant visa applicants attending the Embassy on or after February 1, 2013 will given a letter with instructions on how to submit this payment once they have received the immigrant visa. Further information is available from the USCIS website at

Applicants issued immigrant visas before February 1, 2013, are not required to pay the new fee, even if they travel to the United States on or after February 1. Only those applicants issued immigrant visas on or after February 1 must pay the new fee. 

It is important to note, that if you applied for immigrant visa prior to February 1 but your application was refused under Section 212(g) pending additional information or refused pending receipt of an approved waiver, you will be subject to the fee if the immigrant visa is issued on or after February 1, despite the fact that you may have begun the application prior to this date.