How Much Does a Green Card Through Marriage Cost?
Would you like to get a Green Card through Marriage to your spouse? You can apply if they are a U.S. citizen (USC) or lawful permanent resident (LPR). You will need to prove that you are in a legitimate marriage and you didn’t marry just for immigration purposes. In this guide, I will share a list of the relevant forms and the cost of getting a green card through marriage.
- What is a Green Card through Marriage?
- Cost of filing for a Green Card from within the United States
- Cost of filing for a Green Card from outside the United States
- Renewal Costs
- Other Possible Costs
What is a Green Card through Marriage?
A Permanent Resident Card, often known as a Green Card, allows you to permanently live and work in the U.S. There are several paths to becoming a permanent resident, but one of the most common ways is through marriage to a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. The process and costs depend on whether you apply from inside or outside the U.S.
Cost of Filing for a Green Card from within the United States
If you and your spouse are filing from within the United States, you will file what is called an adjustment of status application. The forms and government filing fees are as follows:
- Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative and the I-130A supplement. This form is used to prove your identity and relationship - $535
- Form I-864, Affidavit of Support. Your spouse must show that they can financially support you if necessary - $0
- Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. File this form to change your visa status to a Green Card - $1,225 for most people
- Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization. You should file this if you want to work while your case is pending. - optional, $0
- Form I-131, Application for Travel Document. You should file this if you want to travel outside the U.S. while your case is pending - optional, $0
- Form I-693, Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record. You must get a medical exam from an approved doctor to show that you don’t have any health conditions that would make you inadmissible to the U.S. - $0 to file, doctors performing the exam set their own fees, which often range from $150 - $300.
As you can see, not all forms have filing fees. Also, not all of these forms are required. You will pay these fees at the time you submit your application, with most people submitting all forms at the same time. If your spouse is an LPR, there might not be a visa immediately available for you. As of this writing, this is not an issue, but it is subject to change. In such a case, your spouse would submit and pay to file form I-130 and you would pay the other fees once form I-130 is approved.
Some people choose to wait until their visa interview before submitting form I-693.
Cost of Filing for a Green Card from outside the United States
If you and your spouse are filing from outside the United Sates, there are somewhat different forms to file. This application process is known as consular processing. The forms and government filing fees are as follows:
- Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative and the I-130A supplement - $535
- Form I-864, Affidavit of Support Fee - $120
- Immigrant Visa Application Processing Fees - $325
- DS-260 Online Visa Application - $0
- Form I-693, Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record. You must get a medical exam from an approved doctor to show that you don’t have any health conditions that would make you inadmissible to the U.S. - $0 to file, doctors performing the exam set their own fees. This can vary widely depending on the country but often range from $200 - $400.
- USCIS Immigrant Fee. You must pay this before getting your Green Card - $220
You do not pay all of these fees at the same time. Your spouse will first pay the form I-130 filing fee. Once approved, you will pay the Affidavit of Support and Visa Application Processing Fees. You will pay your medical exam fees to the doctor at the time of the exam. Finally, you will pay the Immigrant Fee once your application is approved.
Even though a Green Card gives you the right to permanently live and work in the U.S., the card itself must be renewed.
If your marriage is less than two years-old, you will be granted a Conditional Green Card. Once you have been married for two years, you will need to apply to remove the conditions.
- Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence - $595
Your permanent resident card needs to be renewed every 10 years. You will also need to apply for a new card if it is lost, stolen or otherwise needs to be replaced.
- Form I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card (Green Card) - $455
Other Possible Costs
You will likely have additional expenses, which can vary widely depending on your individual circumstances. Some of these additional costs can include:
- Vaccination Fees – You are required to have certain vaccinations before getting a Green Card and you may have additional costs if your immunizations are not up to date.
- Other Medical Fees – If you are diagnosed with a health condition that makes you inadmissible, you will need to be treated for the condition.
- Document Fees – You are required to submit supporting documents such as your birth and marriage certificate. Some jurisdictions charge fees for obtaining such documents
- Translation Fees – All documents must be either in English or the language of the country where the consular interview takes place.
- Passport Photo Fees – These are required and can be obtained for $10 - $20 per pair.
- Travel Expenses – You may need to travel some distance for you USCIS or consular interview and have to pay transportation and hotel costs.
- Shipping Fees – It is always a good idea to use a shipping method that tracks your package.
- Waiver Fees – You will need to apply for a waiver if you are considered inadmissible to the U.S. Common reasons include medical conditions, immigration violations and criminal background.
- Legal Fees – There is no requirement to use an attorney, but it is a good idea to do so. Immigration law is confusing. You could find using a lawyer to be more cost effective because you can avoid making mistakes that could be costly in terms of both time and money.
One of the most common ways of getting a Green Card is through marriage. You should now have a much better understanding of the application process and costs. These costs differ depending on whether you are applying from inside or outside the U.S. The filing fees do not change depending on whether your spouse is a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident.
If you have any questions on any of the information discussed in this guide, feel free to email me directly at Michael@AshooriLaw.com. I’m a U.S. immigration lawyer, I’m very responsive via email, and I would be happy to help you.
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Michael Ashoori, Esq.
U.S. Immigration Lawyer
I’m a U.S. immigration lawyer and I help families, professionals, investors, and entrepreneurs get visas, green cards, and citizenship to the United States.
Since starting my law firm, I’ve helped hundreds of people from all over the world with their immigration needs. I’m very passionate, hard-working, and committed to my clients.
Got a question? Send me an email.