Government fees, other required costs and legal fees make up the three main costs in getting an immigrant visa:
Government Fees for Immigrant Visas
- $420 Form I-130 filing fee
- $230 Immigrant visa processing fees
- $88 Affidavit of support processing fee
Total government fees: $738
Other Required Costs for Immigrant Visas
- Medical exam – varies by doctor and location, but is normally at least $100 and is often over $200
- Passport photographs – varies by photographer
- Translation costs – varies by the translator and type of documents being translated into English
- Original documents/certified copies/police certificates – depends on how many documents must be collected and the fees charged in order to obtain the required certificates and copies
There is no requirement to hire an immigration lawyer to help you with your immigrant visa application. Many people obtain immigrant visas each year without the assistance of a lawyer. Others find that having a lawyer allows them to navigate the process much more quickly and with significantly less stress than trying to do everything on their own. If you aren’t sure whether you need an immigration lawyer to help you with your immigrant visa case, you may want to read Do I Need An Immigration Lawyer? before making your decision.
If you decide to not hire a lawyer to help you with your immigrant visa case, you should make sure that you take the time to carefully research the entire immigrant visa process before you begin. In particular, you should make sure that you understand all of the visa requirements, required supporting evidence and grounds of inadmissibility. Keep in mind that even small mistakes can cause big delays in your case and could even result in your visa being denied.
Working with an immigration lawyer means that you’ll have to add the cost of your attorney to the cost of obtaining an immigrant visa, but for many people this is an expense that is very worthwhile. The cost of hiring an attorney will depend on which lawyer you decide to work with and the complexity of your case.