There are few immigration statuses more coveted than the EB1 green card and few that are more difficult to obtain. Reserved for the most extraordinary foreign individuals, this green card comes with several advantages that can make the immigration process much easier for your case. If you’re interested in pursuing this green card but don’t know what the EB1 cost is, this article is for you.
EB1 Green Card Background and Advantages
To understand the EB1 cost, we first need to take a look at what goes into the EB1 process. The requirements to qualify for this prestigious immigrant visa are relatively steep. While other employment-based green cards require you to have a certain kind of degree or level of experience, the EB1 is only for those that:
- Have achieved the extraordinary in the fields of business, art, science, math, or education and can demonstrate these achievements through things such as internationally-recognized awards or substantial salaries. This merits the EB-1A green card; or
- Are professors or researchers that are considered outstanding in their field. These people can apply for the EB-1B green card; or
- Hold a position as a manager or executive with a U.S. company. This grants you an EB-1C green card.
While these requirements are not easy to meet, the resulting green card is very beneficial to those that do meet the requirements. For example, one of the advantages is that EB-1A applicants to not need to have a job offer with a U.S. employer in order to apply.
This means that they do not need to go through the PERM Labor Certification process, thereby cutting months off of their EB1 green card processing time and reducing the overall EB1 cost. The only other employment-based green card that carries this advantage is the EB-2 provided that you also obtain a National Interest Waiver.
The other major advantage provided by the EB1 green card is the priority date wait time. For many green card applicants (specifically in the EB-3 category), there is a waiting time of several years before their priority dates become current with the latest final action dates provided monthly by the Department of State. These dates vary according to your green card category and your country of nationality.
However, for the EB1, all of the dates are current regardless of which is your country of nationality. This means that all EB1 applicants will have visa numbers available as soon as their petition is approved by the USCIS.
The process for an EB1 green card is relatively simple compared to many other work-related visas.
- First, you must secure an employer if you are not applying for the EB-1A visa for extraordinary individuals.
- Your employer must then go through the PERM Labor Certification process and perform recruitment for your position to be sure that there are no qualified American workers available for the job.
- Then, your employer can file an I-140 petition on your behalf to the USCIS.
- Once the petition is approved, your priority date will be current and you can submit an I-485 application to change status.
- When that application is approved, you will soon be issued your EB1 green card.
So now that we know what goes into this green card category, we can better understand what each step will cost throughout the process. There are the mandatory fees that the USCIS demands of each applicant and there are also the natural EB1 costs associated with petitioning and applications.
EB1 Green Card Filing Fees
Here are the mandatory USCIS filing fees involved with getting an EB1 visa:
- I-140 basic filing fee: $700 – this EB1 cost is your employer’s responsibility.
- I-485 filing fee: This fee varies based on your age and refugee status.
- Below the age of 14 and filing with a parent: $750
- Below the age of 14 and not filing with a parent: $1,140
- Between the ages of 14 and 78: $1,225 including mandatory biometrics fee
- Older than 78: $1,140 with no mandatory biometrics fee
- The I-485 is free for refugees.
- The biometrics fee is $85 if applicable
What If I Am Outside the U.S.?
For those that are currently outside the U.S., you will need to go through consular processing in order to get your EB1 green card.
- First, once your I-140 is approved, you will need to schedule an appointment with the U.S. consulate or embassy in your home country.
- You will need to travel to the consulate for the appointment where you will likely go through a one-on-one interview with a consular officer.
- You need to bring the printed confirmation that you completed the DS-260 online immigrant application. This fee will cost $230 plus an $88 fee for the Affidavit of Support.
- If the officer considers you eligible for your visa, you will be given a visa packet of information. Do not open this packet.
- You can then enter the U.S. At the port of entry, you will need to give this packet to the border officer who will then inspect you. After that, you will be an official permanent resident of the U.S.
Extra EB1 Costs
While many people only take into account the mandatory fees, they fail to consider the auxiliary costs that come along with getting an EB1 visa:
- Traveling costs to and from the U.S. consulate or embassy if you are not in the U.S.
- Attorney fees. We charge a flat rate for our EB1 services. You can see our fees here.
- Your employer will most likely need to undergo some costs in order to place the ads necessary for a PERM Labor Certification.
What About Premium Processing?
Premium processing is an optional service that allows petitioners to have their processing time expedited for an additional EB1 cost of $1,225. While the usual processing time is around 6 months, premium processing will shorten it to 15 calendar days. The fee can either be paid by you or your employer. If it is paid by you, there needs to be a written statement saying that this is for the benefit of the applicant and not the employer.
Keep in mind that this feature only shortens the processing time for the I-140 petition. If the USCIS does not process your petition in the allotted 15 calendar days, then you will be issued a refund of your premium processing fee.
How Our Immigration Attorneys Can Help
Here at SGM Law Group, our specialty is helping qualified professionals work in the U.S. We work with foreign nationals from all over the world along every step of the green card process. From getting nonimmigrant visas like the H-1B or L-1 to going through consular processing, there’s nothing that our experienced attorneys haven’t seen in the world of immigration law.
If you want to ensure the best chance of success with your EB1 green card or want to know more about the EB1 cost, you can fill out our contact form to schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys today.