You will need to pay the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Immigrant Fee of $165 to the USCIS if you are traveling to the U.S. as a lawful permanent resident. You cannot pay this fee through a check or money order, but only through the USCIS Electronic Immigration System known as USCIS ELIS. This fee will be used to process your immigrant visa packet and to produce and deliver your green card.
USCIS has now simplified the process of paying this fee. Earlier, people paying their immigrant fee were required to provide a lot of information. Now, as an immigrant, you will only need to enter your Alien Registration Number (A-Number) and your Department of State Case (DOS) ID.
You can now pay this fee for yourself and for another immigrant too. Similarly, if you are unable to pay the fee for yourself, you can request your friend, a family member, an attorney or your employer to pay the fee on your behalf. They will need to provide your A-Number and DOS Case ID and pay the fee online.
You may pay this fee soon after you receive your immigrant visa packet from the U.S. Embassy or Consulate that processed your immigrant visa application. You can also pay the fee after going to the U.S. Once you get to the U.S. you will receive a notice from the USCIS requesting you to pay the fee along with instructions on how to do it. Remember that a green card will not be issued to you until you pay this fee. So it is better to pay the fee before you leave for the U.S.
However, not all immigrants need to pay the USCIS Immigrant Fee; there are some exceptions. Adopted children who come to the U.S. under orphan or Hague adoption programs and K non-immigrants need not pay this fee. Similarly, this fee is not applicable to Iraqi and Afghan special immigrants and returning lawful permanent residents.