Who Should Pay the Filing Fee?

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It doesn’t matter who pays our filing fees. Hi, I’m Jim Hacking, immigration lawyer practicing law throughout the United States at our office here in St. Louis, Missouri. There’s a lot of fear in the immigrant community these days, and that’s especially true when it comes to filing for an immigration benefit. A lot of misinformation out there. In particular, there’s a lot of concern about the public charge rule and about the affidavit of support and this idea that if you’re poor, you can’t get an immigrant visa to come to the United States or you can’t adjust your status or get some other immigration benefit.

I wanted to shoot this short video to talk about this idea that you’re going to get in trouble if someone else pays your filing fees. I just want to put it to bed once and for all, it doesn’t matter in almost every case who pays your filing fees. When we submit our applications, we submit checks with the applications and those checks are deposited by the contractors as they begin the processing of your case at USCIS. To my knowledge, nobody really pays much attention to who paid the filing fee. The checks might be in the name of the petitioner, they might be in the name of the beneficiary. It’s probably not a good idea to have the beneficiaries’ names on the checks, or if it’s a joint account, that’s fine. But just having the petitioner by themselves, we probably wouldn’t do that. We would use a firm check or find some other way to pay. But if you wanted to have your mother or father pay, or somebody wanted to do it as a kind deed to you, that’s just fine. No one’s going to hold that against you, or it’s not going to be a strike against your case if someone else pays your filing fee.

The one kind of case where the employer has to pay the filing fee, are H-1B visas. The employee cannot pay those filing fees. Those have to be paid by the employer. That would be the one instance where the name on the check is important. But for the most part, it’s not going to matter who pays your filing fees.

If you’re thinking about getting started on an immigration case, or if you have questions about the filing fees or any other part of the process, you can email us at info@hackinglawpractice.com. You can join us on our Facebook group, which is called Immigrant Home. We have a lot of good information in there. You can call us at (314) 961-8200. If you like this video, we ask that you please share it out on social so that your friends can hear the word and that you subscribe to our YouTube channel, which we post to every single day. Thanks a lot. Have a great day.