This week, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that from this point forward, it will start accepting credit card payments for pretty much every type of required filing fee.
This is really, really good news!
Let us count the ways:
- All common forms covered: Overnight, USCIS has gone from accepting credit card payments for only a small handful of forms to over 40 of them, including the very common family sponsorship form (I-130) and the green card application (I-485). Now it’s possible to file a complete marriage green card application, for example, without having to pay any required government fees with a traditional check or money order.
- All major credit cards accepted: USCIS will accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express or Discover cards. That ought to cover just about everyone who has a credit card.
- Attention to security: Although USCIS still won’t be accepting online payments for most of these forms, the new process looks to be relatively painless and secure. Applicants will enter their credit card information on a paper Form G-1450 (“Authorization for Credit Card Transactions”). Upon receipt, USCIS will enter that credit card info into the long-established Pay.gov system (operated by the U.S. Treasury Department), and will then destroy the Form G-1450 to keep it from getting into the wrong hands.
- Greater access and affordability: Not everyone has the resources to pay all required filing fees immediately. The total up-front fees for a marriage green card can be as high as $1,760. By accepting credit card payments, USCIS is giving applicants the much-needed option to pay down their filing fees over time, as they would with other important investments in the future.
What happens next?
Very soon, Boundless will integrate the Form G-1450 into the comprehensive package of forms that we help marriage green card applicants complete.
In the future, USCIS will hopefully continue to deliver terrific new features like this. It was only a few months ago that they rolled out full online filing of the application for naturalization (Form N-400), building on previous digital innovations like mobile filing of green card replacements (Form I-90).
Kudos to USCIS for making the immigration system more convenient to navigate!