June 1, 2023

How Much Is a Green Card?

Yearly, around 500,000 individuals come to the resolution of immigrating to the United States with a green card. The process involves intricate legal procedures and official documentation for their dreams to become a reality. The other 500,000 already live in the United States, but change their filing status to get a green card.

Green cards are expensive. Through this process, abundant costs need to be anticipated. Some of these costs are fees related to filing.

Others seem to hide from you. In this resource, we’ll be breaking down everything you need to know about green cards.

That way, you have the best possible chance of filling out a successful application.

Green Card Eligibility

There are different green card eligibility categories. These categories include:

  • Green cards through family (spouses, parents, and children would fall under this category)
  • Green cards through employment
  • Green cards as a special immigrant
  • Green cards on asylum or refugee status
  • Green cards for crime and human trafficking victims
  • Green cards for victims of abuse

There’s also a final category for miscellaneous green card classifications.

How to Acquire a Green Card

The submission of an assortment of forms is an absolute imperative when preparing your application. It would be prudent to verify any relevant records and data with a lawyer.

If your application goes through you’ll have an interview either with the consulate or the USCIS. If you want more information on how to get a green card, you can learn more about it here.

Related: What Occurs to My Permanent Residency If My Spouse Perishes?

How Much Is A Green Card?

Fee Type Cost (to Applicant Residing in the U.S.) Cost (to Applicant Residing Overseas)
Family Sponsorship Form (I-130) $675 $675
Green Card Application Form (I-485) $1440 Not applicable
Financial Support Form (I-864) $0 $120
Work Permit Application Form (I-765) $260 Not applicable
Travel Permit Application Form (I-131) $630 Not applicable
Biometrics (Fingerprints & Photo) $85 $0
State Department Processing Not applicable $325
USCIS Immigrant Fee Not applicable $235
Medical Examination *Varies *Varies
Total $3005 $1340

One must take into account the comprehensive costs and fees that are associated with this application process. If you desire more insight on this matter, look through our in-depth analysis on this subject.

Immigrant learning different language

Mandatory Green Card Fees

There are various fees associated with different green card forms you need to submit. The cost of these fees will depend on whether you’re currently living in the United States.

The first form is the Family Sponsorship Form (or I-130) which will cost $535 regardless of where you’re living. Next, there’s the Green Card Application Form (or I-485). If you currently live in the United States it will cost $1,140. Yet, if you live abroad there is no fee.

The same goes for biometric fingerprints and photo scans. Both of these will cost $85 for people living in the United States. There are some costs that apply to people living abroad and not people living in the United States.

These fees include the State Department processing fee which is $325. It also includes USCIS immigrant fee ($220).

Both people living in the United States and those abroad will need to pay for a medical examination. The cost for this will vary. Check out this resource to learn what you should expect.

Other Costs To Consider

Besides the filing fees, here are some other costs you’ll need to keep in mind.

Related: Consular Processing vs. Change Of Status: What’s The Difference?


If your medical exam reveals that you’re behind on your vaccinations, you will need to get them updated. Like the medical exam, the cost of this depends on your provider.

Translation Services

Do you need to submit an application that’s in a language besides English? Include a translation with certification by the translator. The cost will depend on who translates it for you.


To submit an application, you will need documents. This includes things like a marriage certificate, passport, and birth certificate.

If you have these documents, then it’s no cost. But getting them will often need some fees.

Travel Costs

Are you traveling to the United States from outside of the country? If so you need to consider plane and transportation costs.

This can often add thousands of dollars depending on how many people are traveling with you.


You will need to submit professional photos to the United States. This is so they can verify your identity and conduct any necessary background checks.

While you can take your own photos, it makes more sense to hire a professional to take them for you.


You will need to mail various forms and documents. Shipping and postage isn’t that expensive, but it’s another cost to consider.

statue of liberty

Consider Seeking Help From Brudner Law

Unfortunately, paying the fees isn’t enough to guarantee you a green card. The strength of your application and interview will determine whether you get it.

This can be stressful because one small mistake on either is all it takes to get denied. One way you can increase your odds of getting a green card is seeking the help of an immigration lawyer. This helps before, during, and after the process.

These professionals can help you fill out the application in a way that’s clear and accurate. They can also help you prepare for the interview.

The Importance Of Green Cards

This article helped you learn everything you need to know about green card costs. There’s no doubt that green cards can be expensive.

Yet, when you consider the many advantages that come with them it’s easy to see how they’re worth the cost.

They don't only provide a home for immigrants. They're also vital for refugees, crime victims, and victims of abuse. This fact helps justify the various fees and expenses that often come with them.

Related: What to Wear For the Citizenship Interview

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