Effective February 1, 2013, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will begin collecting a new USCIS Immigrant Fee of $165 from immigrants. The new fee applies only to those immigrants who receive an immigrant visa at a foreign consulate abroad, and who enter the United States after issuance of their immigrant visas. Immigrant visa holders will pay online through the USCIS website after they receive their visa package from the Consulate and before they depart for the United States. The Consulate will provide applicants with specific information on how to submit payment when they attend their consular interview. The new fee is in addition to existing immigrant visa fees charged by the U.S. Department of State (DOS) for an immigrant visa application.
USCIS hopes to recover the costs of processing immigrant visas in the United States after immigrant visa holders receive their visa packages from the Consulate. This includes staff time to handle, file and maintain the immigrant visa package, and the cost of producing and delivering the permanent resident card. The U.S. Department of State ("DOS") recently released its November 2012 Visa Bulletin. The most significant change is the availability of visa numbers in the EB-2 World category. Visa numbers in the EB-2 Mexico and Philippines categories also became available. Otherwise, similar to other recent Visa Bulletins, the November 2012 Visa Bulletin contains very little movement in the remaining employment-based immigrant visa categories. The EB-2 China category advanced by two months to September 1, 2007, while the EB-2 India category did not advance at all. There has been little or no advancement in the EB-3 category overall.