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How Much Does a Green Card Cost? Timeline, Fees, and Other Potential Expenses

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Are you looking to obtain a green card in the United States? Obtaining a green card can be lengthy and expensive, so you should know the costs and timeline involved. 

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) charges an immigrant fee online for a family-based green card. This fee costs $1760 for an applicant living in the United States or $1200 for an applicant living outside the United States.

It’s also possible to obtain an immigrant visa through an immigration service, which will have additional costs.

Other expenses include legal fees and the cost of travel to the United States. Depending on your circumstances, you may also need to pay for medical examinations or police certificates.

It’s important to remember that the time it takes to obtain a green card can vary significantly, depending on the type of green card you apply for and the paperwork you need to submit. This blog post will thoroughly talk about green card costs and other factors that impact the timeline. 

How Much Does a Green Card Cost?


The USCIS immigrant fee online is a collection of different fee types. When you pay the USCIS immigrant fee online, you pay fees for the Form I-485 adjustment of status application, a biometrics service fee, and any other required fees. 

It also depends on whether you are currently living in the United States or outside the United States. 

The list below summarizes the key fees associated with obtaining a green card for both applications living in the United States and outside the United States: 

  • Family Sponsorship Form (I-130) $535 (Both)

  • Green Card Application Form (I-485) $1140- Not required (Applicant Living Abroad)

  • Financial Support Form (I-864) $0 – $120 (Applicant Living Abroad)

  • Work Permit Application Form (I-765) (optional) $0 – Not required (Applicant Living Abroad)

  • Travel Permit Application Form (I-131) (optional) $0 – Not required (Applicant Living Abroad)

  • Biometrics (Fingerprints & Photo) $85 – $0 (Applicant Living Abroad)

  • State Department Processing Not required – $325 (Applicant Living Abroad)

  • USCIS Immigrant Fee Not required – $220 (Applicant Living Abroad)

  • Medical Examination Varies – Varies (Applicant Living Abroad)

All these green card fees (filing fee), as mentioned, total $1760 for an applicant living in the United States or $1200 for an applicant living outside the United States. Medical examination fees highly depend on your medical insurance coverage or the clinic/hospital you use.

Other Potential Expenses You Should Be Aware Of

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Aside from the fees listed above, there are some other expenses to pay attention to when applying for a green card. You have to pay: 

Legal Fees  

To become one of many lawful permanent residents, the green card application process requires legal assistance. A lawyer can help you with paperwork and provide advice on the application process. That means paying attorney fees such as consultation fees, filing fees, and any other costs associated with the case. 

Travel Expenses 

As mentioned, you may need to travel for your family member to join you in the United States. It includes airline tickets, visas, passport applications/renewals, immunization records, and other related expenses. 

Document Fees 

You will need physical and digital copy of your documents for your green card application. You may need to submit copies of birth certificates, marriage licenses, tax returns, and other documents related to your case. You can expect to pay fees for photocopying and mailing documents and fees when requesting documents from government offices.

Photography Fees

It is also required to submit two passport-style photos with your application. You can expect to pay fees for these photographs taken at a photography studio. 

Shipping Costs 

Whether you requested a single application for family-based green cards or multiple applications, you must pay to have your package sent via a courier service or mail. The farther the package needs to go, the more you will pay. 

From the medical exam fee to shipping costs, the fees associated with obtaining a green card can add up. It’s important to plan and factor in all the costs to know how much you need to budget for your green card application. The total cost depends on where you are currently living and other specific factors of your case.

Most applicants find that it pays off, in the long run, to invest the time and money into becoming a lawful permanent resident. With a green card, you can obtain many rights in the United States – from being able to work legally and access healthcare services to traveling freely in and out of the country – that makes it worth every dollar spent. 

Contact Westover Law Firm for Your Green Card Application Needs

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If you need legal assistance to help you navigate the green card application process, please visit our website for a free consultation. Westover Law Firm is Mesa’s top immigration law firm and can answer all your questions about the green card application process.

Contact us today to get started on your path to lawful permanent residency!

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