Iowa Immigration Law Blog: Visa Fee Electronic Payment System Tips

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The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) recently announced that an electronic payment system will be used for the new fee for immigrant visas issued at a U.S. consulate. The fee of $165 per person is used to pay for “green card” production. No fee waiver is available.

Based on a teleconference with USCIS, here are some practical points regarding this fee:

  1. To pay the fee, you must set up your own ELIS account. This requires:
    • A unique email address (A lawyer cannot use her address for multiple clients)
    • Alien registration number (“A number”) issued by the Consulate (do not use A numbers issued by USCIS in the past)
    • DOS Case number receive at the consular interview.
    • A credit card or bank account for payment
  2.  A family may use one account for all members, but will not be able to track the green cards separately. If you want to track your green card, you need to set up your own separate account.
  3. The preferred method is to pay her $165 before you come to the U.S.  But you may wait to pay this fee until you arrive in the U.S. If you do not have internet access or an email, you may still enter the U.S., where internet is more readily available.
  4. USCIS does not encourage anyone other than the immigrant to set up the ELIS account or make payment. However, a family member or attorney may do this for you with your consent.
  5. Any problems with ELIS should be resolved by calling 1-800-767-1833 and asking for technical support.
  6. Any problems with this payment system should be reported to public.engagement@uscis.dhs.gov.