USCIS has announced that effective February 1, 2013, foreign nationals seeking permanent residence in the United States will be required to pay a fee of $165 in addition to the fees already being charged by the Department of State for the consular processing of an individuals immigrant visa application (also known as Fee Bills).
The new fee is being implemented to allow USCIS to recover the costs of processing immigrant visas in the United States after immigrant visa holders receive their visa packages from the Department of State and arrived in the US. This includes staff time to handle, file, and maintain the immigrant visa package, as well as the cost of producing and delivering the permanent resident card.
Applicants will pay the fee online through the USCIS website after they receive their visa package at their consulate interview and before they depart for the United States. The Department of State will provide applicants with specific information on how to submit payment when they attend their consular interview. Details have not been released regarding the manner in which USCIS will verify the fee has been paid before allowing the foreign national to enter the US with their immigrant visa for the first time.