How Much Money Do You Need to Immigrate to the US?


If you are looking at a long-term visa like a work visa or a study visa, or are attempting to become a permanent resident of the United States, then you’ve got to be ready for some costs.  The process is not free.

Here are some of the most common costs so you can plan in advance. 

Filing Fees & Biometric Fees

Every form comes with fees, as well as fees for fingerprinting. These fees can be around $300 to $500.

You can get an exact figure for the fees that you’ll file using the USCIS Fee Calculator. Remember this will be per form and per application, which means if you’re trying to bring multiple family members over at the same time, including minor children, you’ll need to pay fees for each of them. 

Affidavits of Support

I-130 sponsors must sign an affidavit of support, which is a legally enforceable contract stating that the sponsor will take responsibility for the financial care and wellbeing of the person they ares sponsoring until that person becomes a US citizen or has worked in the United States for 10 years. 

While you don’t have to pay any additional money you will have to show that your household income is equal to or higher than 125% of the US poverty level for your household size. You can find the most recent chart here.

Petition Fees

Petition fees are different from filing fees. Petition fees are usually petitions for I-130 petitions, asylum fees, and more. These fees vary. A I-129 petition for a non-immigrant worker is $460, whereas an I-130 petition is $535. An I-140 can be as much as $700.

Some of these are employer petitions. That is, your employer generally pays them if you are a foreign worker who is being offered a job.

Medical Costs 

At the moment immigrants are being asked to receive medical check-ups, Covid-19 tests, Covid-19 vaccinations and other vaccinations depending on what they have already received in their home countries.

These costs, of course, depend on medical costs in your home nation and should if at all possible be completed before you leave your country’s borders. 

Attorney’s Fees

These are the costs that tend to cause immigrants the most fear, but we try to remind individuals that they tend to save money by working with an attorney. The reason is that failed petitions can lead to immigration litigation, which can cost over $10,000 to resolve and which is far less certain than just getting the petition prepared correctly the first time.

In most cases, most immigration attorneys like Renee Hykel of Hykel Law do prepare flat fee schedules for most routine services, and can discuss the exact costs for your specific case. 

Nothing worth having is ever free, but if you’re prepared you can absorb the costs of immigration and successfully achieve your dreams of coming to the United States of America.

See also:

How to Appeal a US Visa Denial

How Much Does an Immigration Lawyer Cost?

5 Steps to a Smoother Immigration Process

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Employment & Investment Visas

Although it often comes with controversy, immigration into the United States has always played a major role in the strength of its economy. Perhaps no one understands this more than the residents of Philadelphia, where the Liberty Bell still welcomes foreigners to one of the richest historical communities of our country.


Family Visas

Not knowing or understanding the system and laws of the U.S. can be a disadvantage for many foreign immigrants who wish to obtain permanent residency in the United States, either for themselves or for their loved ones. Hykel Law’s Family-Based Immigration Services can lead you through the complicated process to achieve either temporary or permanent residency, depending on your situation.


Deportation Defense

Are you afraid of deportation? If you are a foreign national involved in the beginning stages of removal proceedings, the deportation attorney at Hykel Law in Philadelphia can help prevent this unfortunate situation. We can evaluate your immigration case and find the best strategy to defend you from removal proceedings to help you stay in the United States.

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