Filing for U.S. immigration and sailing through it is a tough ordeal. In order to understand, where to save up, first you need a better idea of where and how the expenses will incur. The process of filing for Green Card, i.e. i-485 includes charges you must pay for the application to the Department of Homeland Security.
What follow is the document processing fees payable to the lawyer for consultation and filing charges. Later, you need to pay the immigration medical exam fee to the civil surgeon who will sign the I-693 form. The I-693 form carries the medical examination results which need to be submitted in a sealed envelope to USCIS with the form I-485.
For this article, the expenses are taken as per person. The filing charges with USCIS for I-485 (Green Card or seeking the adjustment of status to permanent residence) is $985. However, there are other charges payable – the biometric fee $85. For applicants above the age of 79 and below the age of 14, biometric fee is not charged. The amount is paid online as instructed on the USCIS website.
It is preferable to hire an immigration lawyer rather than doing everything on your own, the main reason being that the lawyer is well versed with the latest immigration laws and does this for a living. He knows how to deal with the staff at USCIS who are difficult to interact with. The immigration lawyer charges the initial fees, then the filing fees and fees once the file is approved by the USCIS. The total fees ranges from $5000 to $12000 depending on the lawyer or law firm you have hired for the job.
The next step is appearing for the immigration medical exam once you get a call for the same from the USCIS. The I-693 is used to report results of a medical examination to the USCIS. The examination is required to establish that an applicant is not inadmissible to the United States on public health grounds.
The civil surgeon charges for the immigration medical exam can range from $200-$800 depending on the geographical area you live in. After completion of the medical examination, the civil surgeon is required to give the applicant, the completed Form I-693 in a sealed envelope. Make sure that it is in a sealed envelope because the USCIS will reject it if the seal is broken or tampered with. It is the applicant’s responsibility to submit the form timely usually within a week to the USCIS.
Once at the civil surgeons, since the green card medical requires time, you will need to miss a day at work which will cost you somewhere around $150. There might be a follow up, which means you may have to miss half a day at work losing around $75 and the total conveyance charges can be estimated around $500 or so perhaps more depending on where you live. The total expenditure can easily range between $7000 and $14000.
Select an immigration lawyer near your home or work place whichever is preferable so conveyance back and forth will be less troublesome. Likewise, you can also scout through a list of immigration doctors near you and compare their prices. You can find online tools to help you do so.
This way you will save both time and money. Make sure you do enough research and read up on the subject before you hire an immigration lawyer so you will be able to better assess how good the lawyer is. In addition, consult more than one lawyer initially so you will get a better idea about the pricing in your area.
Isha Memon is a Communications Major. She enjoys traveling and writes on a variety of topics. She currently serves as the Media Relations Manager for easyIME.com that helps reduce Immigration Medical Exam Cost for green card applicant.