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Cost to Petition a Relative, I-130 Form

Cost to Petition a Relative, I-130 Form

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Last updated: April 3, 2024.

The minimum cost to petition a relative is $1,505 to $2,975 per immigrant.

Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative is the form that a U.S. citizen or a lawful permanent resident submits to USCIS to sponsor a qualified relative for permanent residence in the United States.

Filing the Form I-130 is the first step towards starting the process of family-based immigration to the United States.

The costs associated with filing an I-130 petition will vary depending on how many relatives you want to sponsor and their location (in the U.S. or abroad). 

Additional fees might apply if the foreign-born relative is already in the U.S. and eligible to apply for adjustment of status at the same time.

Form I-130 filing fee:

  • $625 (if filing online)
  • $675 (if filing by mail)

The filing fee for this petition cannot be waived.

NOTE: The filing fee is not refundable, regardless of any action USCIS takes on this petition. 

You must submit all fees in the exact amounts. 

USCIS accepts money orders, cashier’s checks and personal checks payable to “U.S. Department of Homeland Security.”

When filing at USCIS lockbox facilities you can pay by credit card using Form G-1450, Authorization for Credit Card Transactions.

For more details on forms of payment visit each form’s official USCIS page, “Filing Fee” section.

Always check the USCIS Web page for Form I-130 to confirm the fee before you file. 

If you are sponsoring more than one family member, you will have to file a separate I-130 petition and filing fee for each of these family members.

Classification of Relatives for Family Based Immigration

All family-based immigrants fall into one of two major categories:

The following immigrants are considered “immediate relatives”:

All other qualified relationships are considered family preference categories.

Your relative’s place in line to obtain a green card will depend upon the date you file your petition. 

So there is always an advantage to filing as soon as possible.

There is no waiting period for immediate relatives of U.S. citizens.

Under the law, each petitioner who sponsors a relative must also sign an Affidavit of Support and meet certain minimum income requirements.

If the petitioner does not meet the minimum income requirements, you will need to find a joint sponsor

How Much Does it Cost to Petition a Relative Living in the U.S.

If the relative you are sponsoring is currently living in the U.S. and has entered the country lawfully, he or she can file the Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status to apply for a Green Card without leaving the country. 

This process is called “adjustment of status.”

Below you can find the costs of petitioning a relative living in the U.S.:

USCIS Form

Filing Fee

Form I-130 (mandatory)

  • $625 (if filing online)
  • $675 (if filing by mail)

Form I-485 (mandatory)

  • $1,440 (biometrics included)

Form I-765 (optional)

  • $260

Form I-693 (mandatory)

Form I-131 (optional)

Total:

$2,525 – $2,975

Note: The fee break-out and the different sections mentioned in the table above,  are only the mandatory costs required by USCIS. 

You can have additional expenses, such as: attorney fees, translation fees, postage, copying, etc.

How Much Does it Cost to Petition a Relative Living Abroad

There are two different methods of applying for a family-based green card:

Consular processing is the only method available to applicants who are not physically present in the U.S.

It  means that a person intending to immigrate to the United States, will have an interview at a U.S. embassy or a consulate in his or her home country, to complete the application for a family-based green card.

Step 1. If the immigrating relative lives in a foreign country, you need to file an I-130 petition with USCIS. 

Step 2. After Form I-130 is approved, the National Visa Center will notify the Petitioner that a visa is about to become available.

Step 3. For the procedure of consular processing, the applicant will need to submit the Form DS-260, Immigration Visa Application.

The U.S. petitioner will also have to submit the Form I-864, Affidavit of Support, ensuring the USCIS that he/she will be able to financially support the relative(s) in the U.S. 

The table illustrated below outlines consular processing costs for family based green card application:

Immigration Form

Filing Fee

Form I-130

  • $625 (if filing online)
  • $675 (if filing by mail)

Form DS-260

  • $325

Form I-864

  • $120

Medical examination fee

  • $200 (average)

USCIS Immigrant Fee

  • $235

Total:

$1,505-$1,555

 *The cost of the medical exams will vary by doctor and country. 

There are other costs too, associated with consular processing such as documents translation expenses, travel expenses to the US Embassy/Consulate, cost of obtaining police certificate(s), etc.

Other Fees to Keep in Mind

Apart from the government fees and medical exam fees, you can expect to have other additional fees:

  • Vaccination Fees: If your medical exam requires you to have vaccinations, update it before filing your complete medical report. 
  • Documents Translation Fee: If in your application package, you’ve added any document(s) not in English, you’ll have to attach the translated copy of each of these document(s) as approved by the translator. For instance, a single page birth-certificate translated document varies between $20-$40. 
  • Document Fee: Government agencies generally charge fees for issuing certain official documents (birth certificates, police certificates, etc.)
  • Travel Expenses: To travel for different appointments like a green card interview, medical exam, biometrics appointment or consular interview.

Related Links:

Form I-130 Instructions

How to Fill Out Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative – Step-By-Step Instructions

Form I-130 Checklist of Required Documents