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Immigrant Visas

New USCIS Immigrant Fee

Effective February 1, 2013, all individuals issued immigrant visas overseas must pay a $165.00 USCIS Immigrant Fee before traveling to the United States. Only prospective adoptive parents whose child(ren) is/are entering the United States under either the Orphan or Hague Process, Iraqi and Afghan special immigrants who were employed by the U.S. government, returning residents, and those issued K visas are exempt from the new fee. The below USCIS website has more details on the new fee, including contact information for USCIS, if there are further questions:

Questions and Answers

1.    When must I pay the USCIS Immigrant Fee?

You must pay the fee prior to departing for the United States. USCIS will not issue your green card until USCIS receives payment. However, even if you have not paid the fee, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers will admit you, as long as you are otherwise eligible to enter.

2.    What if I was issued an immigrant visa before February 1, 2013? Do I have to pay the fee?

No. Only applicants issued visas on or after February 1, 2013 will pay the new fee. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at the airport or land border will review immigration records to determine when your immigrant visa was issued. If the visa was issued on or after February 1, 2013 but the fee was not paid, the Immigrant Visa package will be collected at the point of entry, but USCIS will not issue a green card until the $165.00 fee is paid.

3.    Who has to pay the USCIS Immigrant Fee?

All applicants issued immigrant visas (including Diversity Visas), except children adopted under the Orphan (IR-3/IR-4) or Hague Processes (IH-3/IH-4), Iraqi and Afghan special immigrants who were employed by the U.S. Government, returning residents (SB-1s), and K visas, will pay the new fee.

4.    How do I pay the new fee?

You will pay the fee by going to, clicking on the link to the USCIS intake page on, answering the questions on the USCIS intake page, and providing your checking account, debit, or credit card information. Because checking payments must be drawn on a U.S. bank, someone else may pay the USCIS Immigrant Fee on your behalf.

Any foreign national who wishes to reside in the United States permanently must apply for an immigrant visa, whether or not that person plans to seek employment in the United States. U.S. immigration law provides for the issuance of immigrant visas in four general categories: immediate relatives, family-based, employment-based and the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program, sometimes known as the "green card" lottery.

For an overview of the types of immigrant visas available under immigration law, please see Visa Types for Immigrants following on the Department of State website. For more information about the different types of immigrant visas click one of the links to the left.

The consular section processes immigrant visas for Moldovan residents. With a few exceptions, immigrant visa petitions must be filed with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) in the United States. Approved petitions are forwarded to the National Visa Center in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. The National Visa Center collects fees and documents and schedules the visa interview.

Applicants must come to the Embassy for an interview. To learn how to make an appointment for an interview and pay the application fee, visit the Visa Application Fees and Process. All IV fees are payable in Moldovan lei or U.S. dollars by either cash or credit card (Visa, Master Card, Discover, Diners Club, or American Express.)

Visa cases may be processed at different speeds depending on many factors (such as additional administrative processing, missing documents or incomplete applications). Applicants should not make any final travel arrangements, dispose of their property, or give up their jobs until they get their visas.

Every applicant must fill out an application packet. For a list of the standard forms required, visit the Immigrant Visa Forms  page. Once an immigrant petition is approved, the National Visa Center will advise the applicant what forms and documents to prepare.