After years of testing its pilot program, USCIS recently announced an expansion of credit card payments to most USCIS forms. Because the vast majority of forms and other filings require payment of fees that are often substantial, this expansion will give employers, foreign nationals, and attorneys alike much more flexibility.
Which Applications and Petitions Qualify
With this most recent expansion, applicants and petitioners can pay filings fees or biometrics services fees (if applicable) with a credit card for:
- Applications, petitions, or requests sent to a USCIS lockbox; or
- Applications, petitions, or requests with the USCIS service centers, except for H-2A petitions filed using Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker.
Fortunately, at this time, there is no additional fee to pay by credit card.
Credit Card Requirements
USCIS will only accept credit cards issued by a U.S. bank that is a Visa, MasterCard, American Express, or Discover. Those who wish to pay with a credit card should ensure that the card has enough money to cover all fees, as USCIS will reject the filing if the credit card is declined on the first attempt to process payment.
How to Submit Credit Card Payment
Those wishing to pay a USCIS filing fee via credit card will need to complete and sign Form G-1450, Authorization for Credit Card Transactions, currently available here. Form G-1540 is only one page and requires the person or entity requesting payment to provide their name, credit card information, authorized payment amount, and signature.
The completed Form G-1450 should be placed on top of the application, petition, or request when submitted to USCIS. As with all USCIS forms, only the current version will be accepted. If an old version of Form G-1450 is submitted, the entire application, petition, or request will be rejected.
If Payment Is Accepted
If USCIS accepts the payment, your credit card will be charged for the authorized amount, and the G-1450 form will be destroyed. The payor will see a charge from USCIS on their credit card statement. For any given credit card, USCIS has a daily transaction limit of $24,999.99 per day. This transaction limit does not apply to U.S. debit cards or U.S. checking accounts.
If Payment is Declined
If the credit card is declined, USCIS will not attempt to process payment a second time. The G-1450 will be destroyed, and the filing will be rejected. The rejection notice will explain that USCIS is rejecting the filing because payment could not be processed.
If the petition, application, or request is filed again, it will need a new Form G-1450.
Mixed Payments / Multiple or Combined Applications
Each filing fee for individual applications, petitions, or requests must be provided separately. This still applies when using Form G-1450. Each application, petition, or request should have its own completed Form G-1450 authorizing payment for the fee amount needed for each filing.
USCIS will reject an entire package if an individual or entity submits one form for multiple applications, petitions, or requests. USCIS will also reject mixed payments, including a check and credit card authorization to split the payment for the same filing or a mix of money orders, checks, and credit card authorizations for multiple applications, petitions, or requests.
The below chart comes from the USCIS website, and offers examples of acceptable methods to pay for an application, petition, or request using Form G-1450 and/or other payment methods:
|If you submit…||And wish to pay with…||Then you must|
|One application, petition, or request||One credit card||Pay the entire fee for that application, petition, or request using one Form G-1450.|
|One application, petition, or request||Visa, MasterCard, American Express, or Discover gift cards or prepaid cards||Pay the entire fee for that application, petition, or request using one Form G-1450.|
|One application, petition, or request||Two credit or gift cards (split payment)||Complete two Form G-1450s, one for each card, and specify the amount you wish to pay with each card.
Note: Make sure the amounts on the two Form G-1450s add up to the correct total, as we will reject a filing with an incorrect payment. Please complete one Form G-1450 for each card and ensure the total amount of the filing fee is correct between the two forms. (For example: You could pay a $400 filing fee with two $200 payments on each card.)
|Three applications, petitions, or request||One credit card||Submit three Form G-1450s, one for each application, petition, or request.|
|Five applications, petitions, or requests||· One credit card for two of the forms
· A check for the other three forms
|Submit two separate packages —
· First package: two applications, petitions, or requests and two Form G-1450s.
· Second package: three applications, petitions, or requests and three separate checks.
While there are some limitations—particularly for those wishing to use mixed payment methods or for those who wish to submit multiple filings in a single package—credit card payments are now available for the vast majority of those seeking immigration benefits. USCIS has not hinted at what expansion might be next. Still, the most recent expansions have been a welcome option, particularly for individuals in need of flexibility in managing or affording payment for applications, petitions, and other requests submitted to USCIS.
About the Author:
Alexandra Crandall is an attorney at Dickinson Wright in Phoenix. She practices business immigration, assisting employers with the preparation of immigrant and non-immigrant petitions to maintain their foreign national workforce. Prior to joining the firm, Ms. Crandall served as a Judicial Law Clerk to the Honorable Jennifer B. Campbell at the Arizona Court of Appeals. She can be reached at 602-285-5074 or email@example.com. Her bio can be accessed here.