How Much Does a Green Card Cost?
A green card is a document which shows that the holder is a legal citizen and permanent resident. For varied reasons, there are many people from all over the world who wish to settle in the United States. Becoming a U.S. citizen offers several rights, privileges and rewards, but it also entails a number of important duties and responsibilities.
How much does it cost?
- When it comes to a green card, the prices will greatly very. The I-130 filing fee is going to be around $350 while the I-485, 131 and 765 filing fee is around $1,000. Aside from the filing fee, a medical exam will be required, which can reach costs upwards of $500 if there is no insurance.
- Miscellaneous fees can also tack on another $200 to $500. These fees can include copying, delivery, handling, etc.
- Advertising costs, which are required, can cost around $500 to $2,000 depending on the newspaper.
- All in all, the entire green card process without a lawyer should cost around $2,500 to as much as $5,000 or more. With a lawyer, it is best to double, if not, triple the number.
- According to Cuny.edu, the cost to apply for U.S. naturalization is $680.
- The Schaefer Law Firm meanwhile, says that the required government filing fees for the adjustment process to obtain a green card costs around $1,500 per person.
- The US Citizenship and Immigration Service invites interested applicants to visit its website to learn more of the requirements they need to accomplish, including the corresponding fees they have to pay.
What are going to be included?
- The cost to file an application for US citizenship includes the application and fingerprinting charges.
- The government filing charges for the adjustment of status is inclusive of filing fees (Form I-130) and adjustment of status filing fee (Form I-485).
What are the extra costs?
- For the adjustment of status, you will be required to pay for the following:
- Medical examination
- Passport photographs
- Translation expenses
- Original documents and certified copies
- If you need to hire a lawyer to assist you, you must take note that the legal fees depend on the complexity of your case and on the law firm itself. Lawyer fees can reach as high as $2,000 to $4,500 depending on the circumstances.
Factors that influence the price:
- The cost of medical examination varies on the doctor that sees you as well as on the location where you have your medical examination.
- The price of passport photographs, which is not at all expensive, depends on the photographer.
- The translator and the type of documents you submit for translation into English have varying rates.
- The costs of obtaining original documents as well as its corresponding certified copies also vary.
Tips to know:
- Many times it is not necessary to hire a lawyer to assist you with your application for adjustment status.
- There are at least three areas in which you have to allocate money in seeking to obtain a green card through the adjustment of status, namely: the required government fees, other related expenses, and lawyer’s fees.
- If you wish to apply for US citizenship, you need to reside in the United States as a permanent resident uninterruptedly for five years. But if you are married to a US citizen spouse and staying with the same in the country, you can apply for citizenship after only three years.
- Among the benefits of becoming a US citizen include:
- You have the privilege to travel more freely in and around the country, and enjoy the privilege of holding a US passport.
- If you have the inclination, you can run for any public office, except for presidency and vice presidency.
- You have the right to vote for the politician you like and participate in the democratic processes in the United States.
- You will be eligible to apply for all state and federal employment and other jobs where US citizenship is needed.
- You will have the privilege to take advantage of more types of public assistance.
- You will be allowed to help more of your family members to come to the United States, such as your married children, parents, siblings, and fiancé, aside from your spouse and unmarried children.
- The US citizenship test consist of your basic knowledge about US history and government, and your ability to read, write, and speak simple English.
How can I save money?
- Before deciding on the lawyer to assist you, be sure to ask around for a law firm that does not charge too high but able to assist you well. If you do not know where to look for a lawyer, consider reputable directories such as LegalMatch.com.
- In many cases, however, you do not necessarily have to hire a lawyer in your application for naturalization. Verify, then, if you can go through the process without a lawyer’s assistance.