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How much does a marriage green card cost?

How much does a marriage green card cost?

One of the most pressing questions for anyone contemplating family-based immigration to the USA is how much does a marriage green card cost. The process of obtaining lawful permanent residence, more commonly known as a green card through marriage is often said to be expensive. While the cost of getting a green card through marriage varies, the estimated fees for a green card application through marriage will generally span from about $1,400 to almost $2,000.

The marriage green card cost for applicants living in the United States tends to be on the higher end, at roughly around $1,900. Below you can find an itemized explanation of the marriage green card cost through the adjustment of status process.

If you are applying at a US consulate abroad, you will be faced with lower immigration fees for a green card through marriage, at about $1,400. Below there is a detailed breakdown of the different costs associated with a marriage green card through consular processing.

This does not include the attorney fees for a green card through marriage, nor the costs of removing the conditions on your marriage-based green card and applying for citizenship. These additional marriage green card costs are further discussed in this article.

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What is the marriage green card cost of obtaining a green card?

Application fees

The majority of your spouse visa USA cost will be determined by the application fees for your immigrant petition and your application for a green card through marriage. If you are currently residing in the United States in lawful status, you will end up paying more in immigration fees for a green card through marriage. 

Please note that if you are applying for adjustment of status from within the United States, you will have to pay all of these government fees at the same time, since the entire marriage green card application packet is filed concurrently. If you are applying through consular processing, the marriage green card cost will be spread out throughout the different stages of the marriage-based green card process. For a thorough breakdown of the process, please refer to our Complete Guide to the green card marriage process.

This calculator provided by USCIS may be a useful tool in figuring out how much it will cost to acquire your spouse visa USA.

Adjustment of status

When you are applying for a green card through marriage, you will have to file a number of forms. For a more in-depth explanation of all the forms and why you need them, take a look at our article detailing all the documents you need to apply for a marriage-based green card. For some of the forms, you will have to pay a filing fee. 

If you are applying from within the United States, you will undergo a process known as “adjustment of status”. The marriage green card cost through adjustment of status breaks down as follows: 

  • Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative – a filing fee of $535
  • Form I-485, Application for Permanent Residence or Adjustment of Status  – a filing fee of $1,140

The cost of the two forms associated with Form I-485, Form I-131 Application for Travel Document and Form I-765 Application for Employment Document, which respectively allow you to travel outside of the United States and work in the United States while your green card application is pending, is included in the filing fee. 

  • Form I-693, Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination – an average of $200.

There is no filing fee for Form I-693, but you will have to pay for the medical exam that will be carried out by a USCIS appointed doctor. The cost of this examination varies from around $100 up to $500, but the average cost that applicants usually end up paying is $200.

USCIS will have to take your fingerprints, as well as several photos of you, and some biographic information about you. This is known as your biometrics appointment and is done so that USCIS can confirm your identity and run the required background and security checks. You will be charged a fee of $85 for it.

Consular processing

If you are located outside of the United States, you will have to apply for a marriage-based green card at a US consulate or an embassy abroad. You will still have to submit the I-130 petition, but you will not have to file the more costly Form I-485. Instead, you will file Form DS-260, Immigrant Visa Electronic Application.

  • Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative – a filing fee of $535
  • Form DS-260, Immigrant Visa Electronic Application – a filing fee of $325
  • Form I-864, Affidavit of Support – a filing fee of $120

If you are applying through adjustment of status, there is no filing fee for Form I-864. However, when you are applying through consular processing, the State Department charges you a filing fee for the financial support form. 

  • USCIS immigrant fee – $220

USCIS charges this fee in order to process your immigration packet and to produce your Permanent Resident Card (your green card). 

  • Form I-693, Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination – an average of $200

There is no filing fee for Form I-693, but you will have to pay for the medical exam that will be carried out by a USCIS appointed doctor. The cost of this examination varies from around $100 up to $500, but the average cost that applicants usually end up paying is $200.

While the consular processing fees roughly amount to about $1,400, you should keep in mind that this does not include the cost of the foreign national spouse traveling to the United States. 

Other expenses

  • Vaccination fees

If your medical exam establishes that you lack some of the required vaccinations, you will have to pay out of pocket to be vaccinated. This expense varies, depending on how many, and which, vaccines you need.

  • Document translation fees

If any of the documents you are submitting is in a language other than English, you will have to submit a certified translation. Translation fees vary, depending on the language that needs to be translated, and on the length of the document, but you are typically looking at $20-$40 for a one-page document, such as a birth certificate or a marriage certificate. 

  • Photography fees 

You will have to submit 2 passport-style photos of the US citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse, and 8 passport-style photos of the foreign national spouse. The cost of the photos will vary by service provider. It usually does not cost very much, but this is still an expense you will have to take into account.

  • Shipping costs 

At various stages of your marriage green card application process, you will have to pay for postage and mailing of your application packet. These charges may be nominal, depending on the type of service you choose. 

Keep in mind that if you are applying for a marriage green card at a US consulate abroad, the shipping costs will be higher than if you are applying from within the United States.

  • Travel expenses

While there is no fee for the marriage green card interview, you will most likely have to travel to a USCIS Field Office near you to attend. You have to account for travel expenses, and, depending on how far the USCIS office is located from your home, you might have to budget for an overnight stay. 

The same applies for the interview held at a US Consulate or embassy. Your interview will be scheduled at the closest US Consulate or embassy, but this might still entail an overnight stay and travel expenses that you should budget in for. 

There is a $85 fee for your biometrics appointment, which will be conducted at a local application support center (ASC), and which will occur before your interview, so plan for the additional cost of similar travel expenses. 

  • Equivalency evaluation 

If you were educated abroad, you will have to submit an equivalency evaluation along with your transcripts, diplomas, and certificates. The cost of an equivalency evaluation will vary depending on the service provider, but costs usually start at $80. 

What is the additional marriage green card cost after you have obtained your green card?

The abovementioned estimated marriage green card cost covers the process of acquiring a marriage-based green card up until you receive a physical copy of your green card in the mail. However, this is not the last step in becoming a US citizen, and there are more costs associated with the next steps in the process – getting the conditions on your marriage-based green card removed and getting actual citizenship. 

Getting conditions removed

You obtain the green card through marriage for an initial period of 2 years, or what is known as conditional permanent residence. Within 90 days of the expiry date of your conditional green card through marriage, you have to apply for removal of conditions. Since this is a part of the marriage-based green card process, you can consider this an additional marriage green card cost. 

You will need to submit Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence, along with a filing fee of $595. 

You will also have to attend another biometrics appointment, which will cost another $85, as well the additional travel expenses associated with attending your biometrics appointment at a local application support center (ASC). 

Getting citizenship

If you are married to a US citizen, you are eligible to apply for naturalization three years after you obtain your lawful permanent residence. In order to comply with this requirement, you need to have lived with your US citizen spouse for the entire duration of these three years. 

You will have to file Form N-400, Application for Naturalization. The associated filing fee for Form N-400 is $640. In addition to the filing fee, you will have to pay $85 for another biometrics appointment, along with the already discussed travel expenses. You will also have to attend an interview and a swearing in ceremony. You won’t have to pay anything for either of these appointments, but you will have to budget in the travel expenses accordingly. 

What are the attorney fees for a green card through marriage?

What you will end up paying in attorney fees for a green card through marriage dramatically varies on a case by case basis. 

Some of the factors that might affect your attorney fees for a green card through marriage are: 

  • How many people are applying together: if your foreign national spouse has any children that are concurrently applying for green cards, this will significantly affect the cost; 
  • If your case presents any complications, such as past criminal charges or a pending divorce, this will also affect your marriage green card cost; 
  • If you are issued a Request for Evidence (RFE), this will also result in an increase of the attorney fees for a green card through marriage you will end up paying;
  • If you have to appeal an initial determination by USCIS that your green card application will be denied, this will likely cause further increase in your marriage green card cost.

Schedule a consultation with our marriage-based immigration attorney who will provide an estimate after hearing and appraising the particular details of your case, as well as your circumstances. 

Our Marriage Green Card Services

Are you a US citizen or lawful permanent resident who would like to sponsor your foreign national spouse for a green card? Are you a foreign national married to a US citizen or a lawful permanent resident who needs help applying for permanent residence? Would you like an immigration strategy that has been custom-made for you and your spouse? Are you searching for “immigration lawyer near me”?

Then we at Pandev Law, LLC are here for you. 

Our immigration attorney can devise a marriage-based green card strategy tailor-made to accommodate the particular needs of your case and prepare your marriage-based petition in accordance with all the pertinent immigration rules. 

To schedule a consultation with our immigration attorney, please click here and click on “Schedule a Consultation.” You can also email us at [email protected], or call us at (212) 220-6652.

During your consultation, our marriage-based immigration lawyer will provide an honest assessment of your case, and a recommendation about your next steps.

Disclaimer: This blog article is provided by Pandev Law, LLC for general educational and informational purposes only. Although this article discusses general legal issues, it does not constitute legal advice nor does it establish an attorney-client relationship. No reader should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any information presented in this article, or elsewhere on this website, without seeking the advice of appropriate legal counsel, or other professional counsel, licensed in the relevant jurisdiction. Pandev Law, LLC expressly disclaims any and all liability with respect to any actions taken, or not taken, based on any content of this article or website. This blog article may constitute attorney advertising. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

I offer confidential 30 minute & 1 hour consultations.