Getting an EB-2 green card has several advantages in that most of the final action dates are current and applicants can self-petition if they can obtain a National Interest Waiver. But what about the EB-2 green card cost? In this post, we highlight the steps necessary to obtain this prestigious green card and the filing fees that go along with it.
What Does the EB-2 Green Card Entail?
When it comes to visas and immigration law, in order to learn what something will cost, you must first learn each step in the process to see which forms will need to be filed and the fees associated with each one.
The EB-2 green card cost is no different, so we will briefly outline the requirements and filing process for the EB-2 before analyzing what the total cost will be.
In order to qualify for an EB-2 green card, you must fall into one of two categories:
- A foreign professional that holds an advanced degree (masters or higher)
- A foreign national that has extraordinary ability in his or her field. This can be proved through a specialized degree, a large salary, awards for work in the field, or even published work.
So, when taking the overall EB-2 green card cost into account, you may need to consider whatever it will cost to fulfill either of these requirements if you don’t already.
When filing for your EB-2, you first need to find an employer to sponsor your green card. The only exception to this is if you are able to secure a National Interest Waiver (NIW) by proving that your work will be beneficial to the U.S. and that it would be in the nation’s best interest to waive the job offer requirement.
In the absence of an NIW, you will need to have your employer file for a PERM Labor Certification with the U.S. Department of Labor. While filing for a PERM is free, your employer will need to take the cost of running an extensive month-long ad campaign into account when considering the EB2 green card cost.
After your employer gets your PERM, they will also need to file an I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker with the USCIS. For the citizens of most countries, a visa number will become available as soon as the petition is approved. However, for citizens of India and China, there can be a wait time of several years.
If you are in the U.S. under a nonimmigrant visa, you can submit an I-485 Application to Register Permanent Resident or Adjust Status once a visa number is available. Once this is approved, your status will automatically change to a legal permanent resident.
However, if you are not in the U.S., you will need to go through consular processing. This involves going to the U.S. consulate or embassy in your home country and participating in a one-on-one interview with a consular officer. You will also need to complete the DS-260 online immigrant visa application.
EB-2 Green Card Cost
Now that we know the steps and the forms required for each one, we can compile the filing fees together to see what the total mandatory EB-2 green card cost will be.
- ETA 9085 (PERM) filing fee: no charge
- I-140 filing fee: $700
- I-485 filing fee: this fee varies depending on your age. See this chart to see how much your EB2 green card cost will be. On the whole, this cost ranges from $750-$1,140.
- Biometrics fee: $85 if applicable
- DS-260 filing fee: $230. This is only necessary if you are currently outside the U.S. You will also need to pay the $88 Affidavit of Support fee.
So this brings the total EB2 green card cost to $1,450 as a best-case scenario for someone simply changing their status. If you are outside the U.S., the green card total cost could be up to $2,243. Work with your immigration attorney to determine what the fees will be for your case.
It is important to note that the I-140 fee and all costs associated with the PERM Labor Certification must be paid by your employer. However, the I-485 fee can be paid either by you or your employer. Additionally, the DS-260 and biometrics fees must be paid by you.
In addition to the mandatory fees associated with the EB-2 green card cost, here some other costs that you may need to consider when pursuing this green card:
- The premium processing fee of $1,440. This optional service will reduce your I-140 processing time from about six months to 15 calendar days and can be paid by either you or your employer.
- Traveling fees for those who need to visit a consulate or embassy
- Attorney fees, which can vary widely. You can see the flat fee we charge for our services on our fees page.
Can I Get a Refund?
Unfortunately, the USCIS is not in the business of handing out refunds often. Even if your petition is denied or rejected, your EB-2 green card costs will not be returned to you. However, there are a few circumstances in which the USCIS is obligated to issue a refund. You should expect to get your payment back if the USCIS:
- Asked for a form that was not necessary and required a fee.
- Has requested a fee that was greater than that which was appropriate
- Was not able to process the petition in 15 calendar days after the premium processing fee was paid. Note that you will only receive a refund of the premium processing fee in this case and not the I-140 filing fee.
How Our Attorneys Can Help
Are you interested in getting an EB-2? Make sure that all of your EB-2 green card costs are taken care of by retaining an immigration attorney. Our lawyers are highly experienced with taking care of everything from the PERM Labor Certification to any possible Requests for Evidence. For us, no case is too difficult to take on.
To schedule a consultation and speak with one of our attorneys, you can fill out this contact form and tell us a little about your case.