How to pay USCIS Fees: What payment methods are accepted?

Here at Alvva, we understand the strengths and struggles of the Latino community. Let's navigate the USCIS fees and payment methods, together!

The path to a better quality of life in the United States is filled with hopes and challenges. As a part of the immigrant community, you embrace these challenges with courage, among which, obtaining a legal immigration status becomes a critical step. This process often requires substantial time, effort, and yes – managing forms and fees for obtaining a visa or citizenship from the USCIS.

What is the USCIS?

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the government entity tasked with managing immigration procedures, guides us through the following processes:

  • Citizenship applications
  • Immigration of family members
  • Work permits for immigrants
  • Work authorization verification for companies
  • Administration of humanitarian programs
  • Overseas adoption procedures
  • Educational resources for immigrants

Accepted forms of payment

Each application requires a specific fee and form. USCIS accepts different payment methods, and they recommend you keep these in mind:

  • Make sure you budget enough funds to pay the fees in full
  • Keep yourself up to date on the latest fee structures
  • Resolve any doubts with USCIS or an immigration lawyer

Below are the four methods of payment you can use when submitting your documents:

By Check

Paying by check authorizes USCIS to withdraw the payment from your bank account. Ensure you have adequate funds to avoid a possible denial of your request after two failed transactions. Note that you’ll need to pay via check if you’re submitting your documents by mail.

The check must meet the following requirements:

  • Issued from a U.S bank account
  • Written to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security
  • Issued within the past 365 days
  • Date written in month/day/year format

Via Debit or Credit card

USCIS accepts payments through Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover for both in-person or online submissions. However, if you're paying in person, you need to fill out an additional form - the G-1450, Authorization for Credit Card Transactions.

Remember, each payment form must correspond to one individual, even if you're submitting for multiple family members.

By Financing your Payment

If a lump-sum payment is difficult for you, there may be financial institutions who would be willing to offer you a loan to cover your fees and document preparation costs.

Look for the following when considering a loan:

  • No penalty for prepayments
  • Affordable interest rates and fees
  • Payments help with building your credit history
  • Checks issued are compliant with USCIS requirements

With a Fee Waiver

USCIS provides an option to apply for a Fee Waiver, which in certain scenarios can exempt or reduce your fee amount. However, you must meet specific income or financial hardship requirements, which you can review on the USCIS webpage.

Other financial considerations

Make sure you fulfill all requirements before applying, as USCIS fees are non-refundable, regardless of the application outcome. Apart from managing the USCIS fees, it's also essential to plan for additional expenses. These costs may include medical examinations, transportation, and other document preparation-related expenses. Keeping track of these additional costs will help you maintain a steady financial plan and enable you to move forward confidently, step by step. moving you closer to your dreams and a brighter future in the United States.

If you’d like additional support with preparing your immigration documents, you may consider more affordable options, such as Alvva. With our Case Center, you can compile all your information and documents in one place, and we’ll do the rest to make sure your forms are filled out correctly, with our Approval Guarantee. Take a couple minutes to see if you’re eligible today.