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I Can't Afford to Get my Green Card: How to Save Money After USCIS Fee Increases

If you are interested in filing for your green card or permanent resident card, you may be concerned about the increased USCIS (U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Service) filing fees after April 1, 2024. Here are some tips that you can consider to save money when applying for your permanent resident card with your local USCIS office.


1. ONLY FILE THE APPLICATIONS YOU NEED.


USCIS changed the way that they charge fees as on April 1, 2024. In the past, if you filed your Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, and Form I-485, Adjustment of Status, applications, the fee was waived for your employment authorization (to receive work authorization and social security number) and travel authorization (Form I-131).


Now, the fee to apply for work authorization is HALF the usual fee, which is $260. It is only half of the fee if you file along with your green card application. The travel authorization is full price though, $630.00. If you do not need to travel internationally during the processing of your green card, then you may want to skip this application. Based on the lengthy processing times for travel authorization, you may receive your green card before your travel authorization is approved.


2. FILE APPLICATIONS ONLINE.


USCIS now offers a discount of $50 for certain applications that are filed online. The Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, and Form I-765, work authorization, can be filed online for this discounted rate. If you are trying to save money, you may consider filing these applications online to save $100 in USCIS fees.


3. WAIT TO FILE YOUR MEDICAL EXAMINATION.


Another way to save money in the initial filing of your U.S. residency application is to file your medical examination after you file the initial application. I prefer my clients to file their medical examination with the initial application but, if a client needs to save money, they can decide to wait until a Request for Evidence (RFE) is received before filing their medical examination. If a client chooses this option, they should immediately begin saving the amount that they would need to do the medical examination when it is requested by Immigration.


If you would like to hire an immigration attorney to help you with filing your green card or residency application, please call me, Jaclyn K. O'Connor, Esq. I can be reached at 954-530-9288.



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