How much does the application for EB2 NIW cost?

cost, board, finance-1174926.jpgThe  total EB2 NIW cost for the green card process for one individual ranges from $2,805 to $3,455 without hiring attorneys, to beyond $13,000 when attorneys are hired (this cost varies depending on what firm is selected).

In this article we will break down the costs of the EB2 National Interest Waiver application for permanent residency, so you can know what to expect. 

Note: This article was updated on April 2024 to reflect the fee increases applied by USCIS on April 1, 2024.

The breakdown of costs for EB2 NIW application

The table below summarizes the price you will pay for a full end-to-end greencard application using EB2 National Interest Waiver. 

Item Description

Cost - With no lawyers (DIY)

Cost - With lawyers

I-140 Government Fee



I-140 Asylum Program Fee



Optional: I-907 (Premium Processing)



I-485 Government Fee (without EAD and travel cards)



Optional: I-765 for EAD card



Optional: I-131 for Travel card



Medical Exam

(approx., depending on doctor office)

(approx., depending on doctor office)

Others (pictures, translation of documents, mail cost...)



Consulate Fee (when applying from abroad)



Immigrant Fee (when applying from abroad)



Attorney Fee for I-140 


(approx., depending on firm)

Attorney Fee for I-485


(approx., depending on firm)



More than $13,000

Each piece of the cost explained

In the table above we identified the main items that you will need to pay for during the EB2 NIW application process. Let’s get into what each of them means. 

I-140 and I-485 Government Fees

The I-140 and I-485 forms need to be accompanied by a fee payment for USCIS. These fees are regulated and non-refundable. This means that USCIS will charge you as soon as you submit the corresponding form and they will not reimburse you even if USCIS rejects your petition. 

The benefit of waiting to file the I-485 (adjustment of status) after your petition I-140 is approved is that you can spread out the cost of the overall process. 

The adjustment of status (I-485) portion is the most expensive part of the EB2 NIW (currently $1,440 for one individual, without the optional EAD and Travel cards), so you will start with the cheaper I-140 part (currently $715 plus a mandatory $300 Asylum Program Fee) and will not pay for the more expensive portion until you get the good news of your petition being approved by USCIS. 

If your application is not successful, then you “only” spent the $1,015 for the I-140 petition fees. You can read more about the two different ways of filing (concurrent vs separate) in this blog post.

Medical Exam Fees

After submitting the adjustment of status form (I-485) you may be called for an interview. If you are, typically that is the moment to schedule your medical exam. This is to fulfill the I-693 form requirement (Report of medical examination and vaccination record). 

The typical cost of this medical exam is $300-500 depending on the area where you are located. 

Link to the official USCIS website for I-693


Other costs that may be needed. For instance, a small one will be passport pictures for the adjustment of status. On top of that, some petitioners may need to obtain certified translations for documents from their original countries. Finally, everyone will need the office materials to create the final binder for the petition, as well as pay for the mailing fees.

Consulate Fees 

When applying from a different country you will need to visit the Embassy or Consulate and there is another fee to cover that part 

Link to the official Travel.State.Gov website with the fee schedule. Navigate to the section “Filing an Immigrant Visa Petition” to consult the table with the fees. At the time of writing this article, the fee for consular processing of an approved I-140 was $345 per person. This fee is also non-refundable.

In addition, once approved, the applicant will need to pay an “immigrant Fee” for $220 to cover the cost of producing the Green Card. This cost can be paid before or after arrival to the US, although USCIS recommends paying before entering the country. Link to the official information about this fee.

Attorney Fees

We will discuss the fees charged by lawyers in a separate section below. These costs are variable depending on the firm you choose to work with (if you choose to use attorneys at all). A good rule of thumb is to budget $10,000 for this part. As you can see, this is a very high cost!

Premium Processing (Optional)

If you wish to expedite the I-140 part of the process, you can pay extra to USCIS to get a decision within 45 days. 

Note: The cost is $2,805 to expedite the I-140 step (there is currently no Premium Processing for adjustment of status or consular processing).

Hiring lawyers or not: a big price difference!

right, advocacy, lex-4703922.jpgA benefit from the EB2 NIW Green Card category is that you can self petition, and you do not necessarily need to have legal representation to do it: you can do it yourself! In fact, if you choose the DIY route, the costs will be way lower than if you hire immigration attorneys. 

Indeed, hiring an attorney will cost you upwards of $10,000 extra compared to the DIY option. For example, this firm charges more than $5,500 legal fees (excluding government fees) for NIW I-140 and more than $2,250 for the I-485 legal fee.

What does the cost of the attorney include?  

If you decide to go with lawyers, make sure you ask the firm what services are included. While some of them do not provide the full support you need, others do a great job in drafting recommendation letters, the petition cover letter, and providing feedback to the petitioner about what to expect.  

Some may even offer a full refund if the case is rejected by USCIS (see this firm, which offers an I-140 “Approval or Refund” scheme, subject to eligibility based on the applicant’s profile). 

However, no matter what company you pick, you should know that the overall cost of your Green Card application will be much higher than if you file it yourself. 

Higher cost does not mean burden-free process

In addition, it will not mean that you are relieved from all the burden. Because attorneys are not specialists in your field, they will need a lot of guidance from you in order to prepare a good and effective EB2 petition on your behalf. 

For instance, you will most likely be asked to write a full description of each project you have worked on in layman terms. In other words, you will need to write in language that everyone can understand regardless of their background. This effort alone will take a few hours of your time!

Conclusions on EB2 NIW costs

The cost for the EB-2 green card application with a National Interest Waiver is variable and depends on several factors. The most important one is whether you are going to hire the services of an immigration lawyer or you are going to prepare the application yourself. Additionally, you will also need to decide whether you want to use Premium Processing to expedite the decision on your I-140. Lastly, the cost is not the same when applying for permanent residency from within the U.S. (through adjustment of status) or from outside the country (through a consular process). You should take these factors into account when calculating the money you need to set aside for your EB-2 NIW.

7 thoughts on “How much does the application for EB2 NIW cost?”

      1. Thank you so much, unfortunately, I just feel overwhelmed even without starting 🙁
        You are sincere and doing your best. God bless you

  1. shafiq shoukath

    i have seen the video, and you have explained the process very well.
    Firstly, thank you for sharing your candid experience.
    Do you also help/provide service in processing the eb2 niw application? I’m an aeronautical engineer with 13+ years of experience in the aero engine mro maintenance and service field.
    What do you recommend, and how should I proceed with the application?
    I’ve seen a few webinars hosted by law firms, and they are charging a lot of money to process the application.
    I’m entirely new to this process. As a beginner, how should i start? Your comments would be helpful.

    Many thanks

    1. Hi Shafiq, if you have time and motivation you can do this yourself. In this website I have plenty of info and if you want to be serious about you can sign up for the online course and get a deep understanding of the process so you can file for yourself. Good luck!

  2. Thanks for easy to understand table of costs for EB2 NIW application. One Fee I-485 Government Fee (1140$) If a person applies from abroad in my case Pakistan then I think is not applicable.

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