The government filing fees for a marriage-based green card are $1760 for a spouse living in the United States and $1200 for a spouse living outside the United States. Additionally, there may be additional costs for the medical examination, ranging from approximately $200 to $500. It’s crucial to note that these costs do not include potential fees associated with the proposed USCIS terms. Consider consulting an immigration lawyer for more information.
Getting a green card through marriage involves a three-step process, which includes establishing the marriage relationship, applying for the green card through adjustment of status or consular processing, and attending the green card interview. This comprehensive guide aims to explain the entire green card process for applicants living in the United States or abroad, providing insights into timelines, costs, and important considerations.
Why It Costs That Much to Get a Green Card
The cost associated with obtaining a green card through marriage reflects a combination of factors that contribute to the overall processing and administrative requirements. The government filing fees cover essential services provided by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and other government agencies involved in the evaluation and approval of green card applications. The breakdown of costs includes:
The fees contribute to the administrative processes involved in reviewing, processing, and adjudicating green card applications. This includes the time and resources dedicated to verifying the information provided, conducting background checks, and ensuring compliance with immigration regulations.
The costs also account for the meticulous verification of documents submitted with the application, such as marriage certificates, proof of identity, financial support documents, and evidence of the bona fide nature of the marriage. This verification process is essential to maintain the integrity of the immigration system.
The fees support various government services, including the scheduling and conduct of interviews, issuance of official notices and approvals, and the overall maintenance of a streamlined immigration process.
Proposed USCIS Fee Increase:
The potential for fee increases, as announced by USCIS, is another factor influencing the overall cost. These increases, if implemented, would likely address rising operational expenses and inflation, ensuring the continued provision of efficient immigration services.
Understanding the comprehensive nature of these costs provides applicants with insight into the resources required to facilitate a thorough and lawful assessment of their green card applications. While the fees may seem substantial, they contribute to maintaining the integrity and efficiency of the immigration process.
Marriage-Based Green Card Timeline
Processing Time Averages 9-11 Months
The total processing time for a marriage-based green card application typically averages between 9 and 11 months. This timeline, however, can vary based on factors such as whether the applicant is married to a U.S. citizen or a U.S. green card holder. The complexity of individual cases and the efficiency of the immigration process also influence the overall processing duration.
Differences Based on Marriage to U.S. Citizen or Green Card Holder
The processing time for a marriage-based green card can vary depending on whether the applicant is married to a U.S. citizen or a U.S. green card holder. Spouses of U.S. citizens may experience a different timeline compared to those married to green card holders. The nuances in processing times stem from the differing immigration categories and priorities established for these two groups.
Important Update for Spouses of Green Card Holders in the F-2A Category
The F-2A family-based category, specifically applicable to spouses and unmarried children below the age of 21 of U.S. Green Card holders, experienced a significant change in the September 2023 Visa Bulletin. This alteration is anticipated to result in noteworthy delays in obtaining green cards for spouses of green card holders. A detailed understanding of these changes is essential for applicants in this category to navigate potential delays effectively.
Additional Resources on Processing Times
To assist applicants in understanding wait times and processing durations more comprehensively, Boundless has compiled an in-depth guide detailing the processing times for marriage-based green card applications. This resource provides valuable insights into the factors influencing the timeline and enables applicants to stay informed throughout the application process.
U.S. Immigration Complexity and Confusion
Given the complexities in U.S. immigration processes, particularly in the context of family-based green card applications, Boundless is dedicated to providing assistance and guidance to simplify the journey for applicants. Navigating through the intricacies of processing times and understanding the updates in immigration policies is crucial, and Boundless is here to help applicants stay well-informed throughout the application journey.
Marriage-Based Green Card Cost
Government Filing Fees
The government filing fees associated with obtaining a marriage-based green card are crucial components of the overall cost. As of the current regulations, these fees amount to $1760 for spouses residing in the United States and $1200 for spouses residing outside the United States. These fees play a fundamental role in covering the expenses related to the evaluation, processing, and approval of green card applications.
Cost Breakdown for Spouses Living in the U.S. or Abroad
The disparity in government filing fees between spouses residing in the United States and those residing abroad reflects the distinct processes involved in each scenario. Spouses in the U.S. may undergo adjustment of status (Form I-485), while those abroad typically follow consular processing (Form DS-260). The variation in processes contributes to the different filing fees, with the intention of aligning the costs with the specific services rendered for each application context.
Proposed USCIS Fee Increase in 2023
In 2023, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced plans to increase filing costs for various visa application types, including marriage-based green cards. While these proposed fees are not yet in effect, they signify potential adjustments to accommodate rising operational expenses and inflation. Applicants are encouraged to stay informed about these potential fee increases and consider filing their applications before any changes are implemented.
Filing Before Fee Increase
Filing the green card application before the proposed USCIS fee increase goes into effect can be a strategic approach to avoid paying higher costs. As the timeline for the fee increase is uncertain, applicants may benefit from proactive planning to minimize financial impact and ensure timely submission of their applications under the existing fee structure.
Recognizing the complexities and financial considerations associated with the green card application process, Boundless offers detailed guides breaking down the costs of marriage-based green cards based on individual situations. This support aims to empower applicants with comprehensive information to make informed decisions and navigate the application process effectively.
In conclusion, the journey to obtain a green card through marriage involves a meticulous three-step process, each with its own complexities and considerations. This comprehensive guide has provided valuable insights into the various facets of this process, aiming to empower applicants with essential information.