USCIS Revamps Payment of the Immigrant Visa Fee
Dallas, TX (Law Firm Newswire) October 21, 2015 – On Aug. 31, 2015, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that the process of electronic payment of the $165 USCIS immigrant visa fee has been simplified.
Payment of the immigrant visa fee is required for foreign nationals and is the concluding step to actually being able to receive a Permanent Resident Card, also known as a green card. It is typically paid after an immigrant receives his or her immigrant visa abroad and before boarding an aircraft to the United States. Until the recent changes, the immigrant was required to submit payment him or herself.
“USCIS now permits anyone to pay the USCIS immigrant fee, whether the immigrant him- or herself, an attorney, a family member, friend or even an employer,” said Stewart Rabinowitz, a prominent Dallas immigration attorney with the firm of Rabinowitz & Rabinowitz P.C. “This change has made the final step in obtaining a Permanent Resident Card much easier.”
The immigrant fee is paid to USCIS and is separate from the immigrant visa application fee paid to the Department of State’s National Visa Center for processing the immigrant visa application. USCIS requires the immigrant visa fee to be paid through its electronic online system, known as ELIS.
The changes include decreasing the amount of information that must be provided to USCIS by the immigrant to create an ELIS account and produce a Permanent Resident Card. An interested individual who has the immigrant’s Department of State Case ID number and the immigrant’s Alien Registration Number may now make the payment on the immigrant’s behalf.
USCIS said that the changes and system improvements were part of an ongoing effort to simplify the agency’s procedures and systems.