What’s the Cost? Video 2: Consular Process

Hopefully you have already had the opportunity to review the introductory video. That video reviews the three categories of expenses, and many important details that we are not going to review now.

In talking about the cost of obtaining permanent residence, one detail that greatly impacts the answer is whether you are eligible for adjustment of status or if you has to go through consular process. 

Another video will address details such as how to determine which path is available to you, what steps to take in that process, how long it takes each step, etc. In this video, we are going to focus on expenses for those that need to go through the consular process.

Using the three categories of expenses – government fees, attorneys fees, and miscellaneous fees – let’s dive in.

Government fees:

  • The family petition costs $535 to file.
  • The immigrant visa application processing fee is $325.
  • The affidavit of support fee is $120.
  • And finally, the USCIS immigrant fee is $220.

This gives us a total of $1,200 in government fees.

Attorney’s fees:

This varies in terms of how much is charged, and when it is charged. Some attorneys divide the fees into two stages, which coincide with the two stages of the consular process. But generally, you can expect the total to range between $4,000 and $6,000 for one person’s consular process. 

Miscellaneous expenses. What can we expect. 

  • Throughout this process, you will need to submit several passport-type photos.
  • You will need to scan and photocopy numerous documents.
  • You will need to request originals or certified copies of certain required documents.
  • It will be necessary to request police certificates for at least one country, and possibly more than one country.
  • A medical exam is necessary, and possibly two, depending on how much time passes between your medical exam and your interview. Each medical examination must be done with a specific doctor approved by immigration, and the price will vary greatly depending on the country in which you are. But if you set aside or anticipate between $200 and $500, that should generally be enough. In certain countries or certain medical offices, it may cost much less, and possibly more. (Just so you know, there is a way to check the exact cost.)
  • You may have to pay for personal delivery of documents, either from you to your lawyer, or from your lawyer to you, or to the family member outside of the United States.
  • You will also have to consider the time you will take off from work to prepare applications, to collect and organize documents, and for the interview itself.
  • When the time comes for your interview, you will have to consider the travel expense from your home to the consulate or embassy.
  • If you don’t have somewhat formal attire, you may want to buy something to wear for the interview.
  • Finally, if all goes well, the family member abroad will travel to the United States, and in some cases will have to leave the United States to complete the process, and the cost of that travel obviously must be contemplated as well. 

I know this is a lot of information. Feel free to rewatch the video as many times as you need. But remember, you don’t have to do any of this alone! At IMI Law, we can help with this, and much more. Feel free to reach out: 860-263-9126.

Thank you for your attention. Send us any questions, and stay tuned for the next video.