U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has recently issued a warning regarding filing fees. Currently USCIS does not accept filing fees by credit card. So if you have received a phone call or email, asking you to pay a USCIS filing fee by credit card stop! That is almost certainly a scam. Instead, USCIS filing fees should be paid by personal check, cashier’s check or money order at the time an application/petition is filed. If an additional fee is filed, USCIS will notify you by mail – or by email if you filed a G-1145 form asking for email notifications. Either way, you will need to return payment by mail to the correct USCIS facility.
What about the N-400?
USCIS now allows the filing fee for the N-400 only to be paid by credit card. The N-400 is the application for naturalization (citizenship). But even with the N-400, credit card payments are not made over the phone or by email. Rather, credit card payments to USCIS are made by filing the Form G-1450. This form is submitted along with your N-400 and not by email or discussed over the phone.
What if you gave your credit card to USCIS?
Since credit cards are not accepted by USCIS you should not provide that information to anyone representing themselves to be from USCIS. If you gave your credit card to someone who said she was a USCIS officer it was probably a scam. If you believe you have been a victim of a scam you can contact USCIS.
You may also want to contact your credit card company to report any possible fraud.
The National Visa Center is different
Note that the National Visa Center (NVC) is completely separate from USCIS. NVC payments are paid online through the Consular Electronic Application Center (CEAC). Like USCIS, however, the CEAC system does not accept credit cards. Rather, payments must be made from a U.S.-based banking account in United States Dollars (USD). To learn more about payments at the National Visa Center see our post here.