Lee & Garasia, LLC
  • Tel: 732-516-1717
  • Toll free: 888-404-5876
Experience, Accessibility, and Excellence for Over 20 Years
  • "Lee and Garasia are excellent lawyers, punctual and professional. They are dedicated to going above and beyond the usual level of service to meet your client's needs. Their staff is very knowledgeable, friendly and polite. I would highly... recommend this firm to anyone." Read More

  • "I would definitely recommend Mr.Lee and Garasia as an immigration attorney because they did a great job with my case i.e. of Adjustment of Status (i-485). Mr. Lee helped us in each and every detailed information and prepared to the best of it. It was all well done and would like to appreciate." Read More

  • "I would like to thank my lawyer Mr Lee & Garasia and the staff for all immense help and patience throughout this entire process, I really appreciate your constant attention to my case, as well to my questions and my concerns. You've really made this process much more comprehensive to me, which I greatly appreciate." Read More

  • "Mr. Lee and Ms. Garasia did a great job with my renewal of my permanent residence application. They help prepare the paperwork with such a great attention to details and accuracy. I will recommend the law firm every time." Read More

  • "Mr. Lee did a great job with the renewal of my permanent residence application. My case was very time sensitive and they worked really fast on my case with great detail and accuracy. I will recommend the law firm every time." Read More

  • "I would recommend Attorney Paris Lee for anybody who needs immigration consultation. Mr. Lee is THE lawyer who respects and cares clients. Mr. Lee is professional and honest. Bottom line, preparation for the results and NO BS!" Read More

  • "Stalin - Lee did a wonderful job, Got my wife her visa in one year. He is extremely helpful and knowledgeable. I would highly recommend him for all your immigration needs." Read More

  • "Hello. I appoint him as my immigration lawyer and that way he solved my cases was truly amazing. He was so honest and knowledgeable for his work.He solved my all family immigration issues and because of his effort we were able to get done our immigration work done successful. Thank you lee and garasia." Read More

  • "Lee & Garasia stand for accountability and responsibility. They are reliable, honest and are always constructively looking for a solution. A big thanks :)" Read More

What If I Don't Pay the Immigrant Visa Fee? | $165 Green Card Fee

We have noticed that there is still some confusion regarding the USCIS immigrant visa fee and where it is paid. Especially amongst the Gujarati Indian community (fostered through misunderstanding or sometimes through deliberate deception by "agents" not licensed to practice US immigration law), there is a misconception that the fee is paid in the immigrant's home country. This is not true. The USCIS Immigrant Visa Fee of $165 is paid online. After the applicant appears for the immigrant visa interview, he/she will be provided with an information sheet that details the mechanics of how the fee is paid. The handout will indicate the individual's alien registration number and Department of State Case ID, two numbers that are necessary to input when paying the fee. Before the immigrant immigrates to the United States, the immigrant visa fee should be paid by logging in online at Fortunately, now, the procedure allows anyone to pay the fee, including attorneys, family members, friends, employers, etc.

It is worth emphasizing that the fee is intended and meant to be paid before the immigrant arrives to the US. Provided that the fee is paid and acknowledged, the immigrant will receive the physical green card shortly after entering the US. (The card can take up to 120 days to receive.) If the fee is not paid, the applicant will not receive his/her green card, as the fee covers the numerous costs associated with visa processing and card production. Only after the fee is paid and acknowledged will USCIS produce and issue the Form I-551 green card. Although it is not impossible to pay the fee after arrival in the US, the process can be extremely frustrating and confusing. Some individuals who forgot to pay the fee prior to immigrating have waited more than a year before finally receiving the card.

The physical card itself is obviously very important as it bears proof of the individual's permanent resident status. However, contrary to popular belief, absence of the card does not, in and of itself, indicate that individual is out of status or has no status. If the immigrant was lawfully admitted at a port of entry by CBP after presenting the Immigrant Visa Packet, his/her passport will be stamped. That stamp is valid proof, for up to one year, that the individual is a lawful permanent resident. Nevertheless, in practical terms, that stamp may not signify much to those who are not knowledgeable about the immigration process. Without the actual card, the newly arrived immigrant may have difficulty finding employment (even though employment is authorized incident to status) or qualifying for a driver license. So the moral of the story is don't forget to pay that USCIS Visa Production Fee! Receiving the visa is not the end of the process.

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    • Avvo Rating 10.0 | Superb
    • Client Distinction Award | 2016 Martindale-Hubbell Client Distinction Award
    • New Jersey State Bar Association | Paris Lee Chair - Immigration Section 2015-2016
    • Nationally Recognized | Newsweek Nationwide Showcase | Top Attorneys 2013
    • New Jersey Chapter | American Immigration Lawyers Association | Angie Garasia | Chapter Chair 2015-2016
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Lee & Garasia, LLC
190 State Route 27
Edison, NJ 08820

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