The most difficult part of the payment process is having access to a U.S.-based account, as the personal check “must be drawn on U.S. financial institutions and payable in U.S. funds.”
When writing checks, keep in mind:
- Write in that day’s date U.S. style, meaning in month/day/year order. For example, write July 4, 2015, as 7/4/15.
- If the check must be sent to the Department of Homeland Security, write “U.S. Department of Homeland Security” on the “Pay to the Order of” line.
- Do not use DHS or USDHS.
- Use numbers to write the exact dollar amount of the fee for the service you are requesting. An amount of 420 dollars is “$420.00.”
- Below the “Pay to the Order of” line, spell out the exact dollar amount of the fee. The “cents” portion of the amount should be written as a fraction over 100. In this example, you would write “Four hundred and twenty dollars and 00/100.”
- In the “Memo” field at the bottom left, write a brief description of the purpose of your payment. For instance: “I-130 application fee.”
- Sign the check using your legal signature.
USCIS accepts bank drafts, cashier’s checks, certified checks, and money orders in addition to personal checks (always from a U.S. financial institution). Make sure there are sufficient funds in the account. The check is transformed into an electronic fund transfer as soon as it is received, so it is cashed very quickly.