Immigration Attorney Fees: Everything You Need to Know

Updated on April 10, 2024

At a Glance

  • Immigration attorney fees vary by visa or green card type.
  • H-1B, H-4, L-1, E-2, TN, O1: $200 to $5,000.
  • Employer-sponsored green cards: $2,000 to $6,250.
  • Self-sponsored green cards (NIW, EB-1A): $2,900 to $5,200.

Applying for a visa is a costly and complicated process. Most people will advise that you need the help of a specialized attorney. The reality is, many people that apply for visas and green cards, can’t actually afford the high attorney fees that come with them. Fortunately, there is a solution.

Below we take a look at the approximate costs and fees involved for the different categories of green cards and visas and also what possible solutions there are.

Immigration Attorney Fees for Non-Immigrant Work Visas

Non-immigrant work visas are visas that are obtained for the purpose to work, invest, trade, and do business in the U.S. Non-immigrant visas only apply for a limited time period and do not lead to permanent residency or citizenship.

Below we list and explain some of the most general non-immigrant visas for the U.S. and the average cost involved in applying for each of them.

H-1B Visa

An H-1B Visa is a visa for temporary workers in the U.S. This Visa cannot be used to immigrate and you have to have a job offer in the U.S. to apply. To be eligible for an H-1B visa, you need to have a bachelor’s degree and a specialized occupation.

H-4 Visa

H-4 visas are visas dependents of H-1B visa holders can apply for. This visa is used so that dependents (spouses and children under the age of 21 years) can stay with the H-1B visa holder in the U.S. Your application for an H-4 visa can be submitted with the H-1B visa application. H-4 visas allow the holders to work en get an education in the U.S.

L-1 Visa

The L-1 visa is a visa used by managers and executives of a company, which also has an office in the U.S, to transfer to the U.S to work at the U.S office. To be eligible, you must have worked at the foreign office of the company for one year in the three years prior to your application.

E-2 Visa

E-visas are visas that are obtained under a treaty that the U.S signed with another country in order to promote investment, trade, and commerce. These visas are focussed on trade and investment. The E-2 visa specifically applies to investors from the listed E-2 countries.

TN Visa

TN visas are visas issued under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) to Canadian or Mexican citizens. Depending on your intended purpose in the U.S you might be exempt from being required to obtain Labour Certification. TN visas can often be obtained from a port of entry or airport.

O1 Visa

Foreign nationals with extraordinary abilities in one of the below categories can obtain an O-1 non-immigrant visa. The purpose of the visa is for these individuals to engage in activities in the U.S.

The three categories to which the O-1 visa applies are

  1. Science, education, athletics, and business
  2. Arts
  3. TV or motion picture industry
 Attorney FeeUSCIS FeeOther Fees
H-1B Visa$1,195$460 to $3,460Optional Premium Processing available at a fee of $1225
H-4 Visa$200 to $400$370 
L-1 Visa$2,500 to $4000*$460 to $960Optional Premium Processing available at a fee of $1225
E-2 Visa$3750$0 to $460Optional Premium Processing available at a fee of $1225
TN Visa$1550$0 to $460Optional Premium Processing available at a fee of $1225
O1 Visa$5,000$460Optional Premium Processing available at a fee of $1225

*This cost is often broken into two payments: a partial payment made at the time of filing with the USCIS and a second payment of the remaining balance to be paid when the application has been approved.

Immigration Lawyer Fees for Permanent Residence / Green Card – Employer Sponsored

If you are employed in the U.S and wish to become a permanent resident, the following categories of green cards are possible options for you with the approximate cost involved.

Green Card by Employer-Sponsored Labor Certification with PERM

If you are a foreign national wishing to obtain a green card and permanent residency in the U.S through your employment in the U.S, you will require PERM labor certification.

In order to obtain a PERM Labour Certification, your employer will have to prove that they were not able to find a suitably qualified U.S employee for the position. You will also need to be employed on a full-time, permanent basis.

EB-1C Green Card for Multinational Executives and Managers & L-1A Visa Holders

An EB-1 green card is an employment-based petition for permanent residency in the U.S. The EB-1C was specifically designed for the most skilled and proficient business managers and executives. EB-1 green cards do not require PERM labor certification

If you have L-1A status and are already in the U.S, you can apply for an Adjustment of Status. Your employer will need to prove permanent employment for this application for adjustment of status. Alternatively, you can apply for the EB-1C green card from outside the U.S. This last option is not preferred though and it is recommended that you rather obtain L-1A status first, as Adjustment of Status is easier than applying under option 2.

EB-1 Green Card for Outstanding Researchers / Professors

The EB-1 visa for outstanding Professors and/or Research is similar to the EB-1C visa, except that it applies to highly-acknowledged scholars or scientists instead of executives and managers. As with all EB-1 visas, this visa does not require PERM labor certification or a permanent job offer.

I-485 Adjustment of Status (I-140 Based)

An Adjustment of Status is where someone currently living in the U.S under a non-immigrant visa becomes a beneficiary of an approved immigrant petition and applies for their status to be changed to permanent resident. The person or entity that filed your immigrant petition has to file an I-485 form.

Note that this is not the same process as someone living outside of the U.S applying for an immigrant visa.

AC-21 Portability for Pending I-485 Petitions

AC21 is the American Competitiveness in the 21st Century Act. This act allows foreign nationals to change jobs in the U.S before they obtained their green card. So, if you are a foreign national and you applied for an Adjustment of Status, but you have not yet received your green card yet you can change jobs without it affecting your visa or Adjustment of Status application.

Without this act, immigrants who applied for an Adjustment of Status would have to keep working for the same employer until they received their green card. Under AC21, you, therefore, have more flexibility in changing jobs. Specific requirements apply, however, so make sure you are acquainted with them before quitting your job!

 Attorney FeeUSCIS FeeOther Fees
Green Card by Employer-Sponsored Labor Certification with PERM$2,000 – $6250


$900 – 3500 for PERM

$600 – $1550 to file the I-140

$500 – &1200 after the I-140 is approved

$700Optional Premium Processing available at a fee of $1225


If there is a PERM Audit response, an additional fee of $1000 might be applicable

EB-1C Green Card for Multinational Executives and Managers & L-1A Visa Holders$2,500 – $5000$700$1225 Adjustment of Status fee


Additional Adjustment of Status / I-485 fee of $1000 – $1225 might be applicable

EB-1 Green Card for Outstanding Researchers / Professors$2,900 ($1,700 to prepare and file with USCIS, $1,200 due upon USCIS Approval)


$5000  (*does not include I-485 fee of $1000)

$700Additional Adjustment of Status fee of $1225 might be applicable


Optional Premium Processing available at a fee of $1225

I-485 Adjustment of Status (I-140 Based)$1250$1,225 
AC-21 Portability for Pending I-485 Petitions$400 – $1000N/A 

Immigration Attorney Fees for Permanent Residence / Green Card – Self Sponsored

Not everyone needs to be employed in order to become a permanent resident. If you have extraordinary abilities in science, business, art, etc. you can apply for the green cards we discuss below.

Green Card by National Interest Waiver

The National Interest Waiver (NIW) is designed for foreign nationals with exceptional ability in science, business or arts and also for advanced degree professionals (such as master’s degrees or Ph.Ds). Students can also qualify under the NIW. With NIW, a foreign national can apply for a green card and seek to have the offer of employment requirement waived. This is done by proving that your admission to permanent residency is in the national interest.

Green Card by Extraordinary Ability (EB-1A)

The EB-1A classification applies to those foreign nationals who have distinguished themselves professionally in their respective fields of study or work. These applicants are not required to have sponsorship from an employer as the EB-1A does not require employment or a labor certification. A candidate’s extraordinary ability has to be proved through extensive documentation, however, during the application process.

 Attorney FeeUSCIS FeeOther Fees
Green Card by National Interest Waiver$2,900 – $5200$700$1225 for Adjustment of Status
Green Card by Extraordinary Ability (EB-1A)$2,900 – $5200$700$1225 for Adjustment of Status

Immigration Lawyer Fees for Other Visas/Green Card

You can also apply for a visa or a green card if you want to do business in the U.S. or are planning to get married to a U.S citizen or permanent resident. Below are some of your options.

B-1 Business Visa

B-1 visas apply if you will be participating in commercial or professional business activities in the U.S. To obtain a B-1 visa you have to prove that you will be entering the U.S for a legitimate business activity.

B-1 / B-2 Visa – Renewal / Extension or Change of Status

If you are in the U.S on a B-1 or B-2 visa and need to extend your stay for reasons such as having the opportunity to study or needing to take care of further business, you can apply for an extension. This application is done by filing Form I-539.

Fiance Visa

The K-1 visa is often known as the fiancé visa. This visa is required when a U.S citizen wishes to bring his or her fiancé to the U.S. to marry and live in the U.S. The K-1 visa is also a non-immigrant visa.

Family-Based Petition filed by a U.S. Citizen

U.S Citizens and legal permanent residents are allowed to petition for foreign relatives to come live in the U.S legally. There are two categories, namely Immediate Relative Petitions and Family Preference Petitions. The category of family members that are allowed to come to live in the U.S differs if you are a U.S citizen versus only being a green card holder.

Green Card by Marriage to a U.S. Citizen (filed within the U.S.)

If you are a foreign national and you marry a U.S citizen, you obtain permanent residence and citizenship. This is, however, not automatic after marriage and a formal application process must still be followed.

I-751 – Petition to Remove the Conditions of Residence

CPR status (or conditional permanent resident status) is given to those people who received permanent residence in the U.S based upon marriage to a U.S citizen or permanent resident spouse. This status applies if you were married less than 2 years at the time you were granted a green card. CPR status expires after two years, so you have to do a timely application in order for the conditions on your residence to be removed. This application must be made before your green card expires, otherwise, you might be deported.

 Attorney FeeUSCIS FeeOther Fees
B-1 Business Visa$400 – $1000N/ADepartment of State Fee of $160
B-1 / B-2 Visa – Renewal / Extension or Change of Status$400 – $550$370 
K-1 Visa Petition – For the Fiance of a US Citizen$795 – $2500$535Department of State Fees of  $710
Family-Based Petition filed by a U.S. Citizen$2500$535Department of State Fees of  $710
Green Card by Marriage to a U.S. Citizen$795 – $1850$1,760 
Citizen (filed within the U.S.) I-751 – Petition to Remove the Conditions of Residence$700-$1600$680If you are required to conduct an interview and attendance is required, this will be charged extra.

Immigration Attorney Fees for Citizenship

The pot of gold at the end of the permanent resident tunnel is obtaining U.S citizenship. Below is the cost that would be involved in your application for citizenship.

N-400 Application for Naturalization

The N-400 application can be used by lawful permanent residents in the U.S, that is older than 18, to apply for U.S citizenship. Your green card must have been valid for at least 5 years prior to your application to be eligible. If your green card is based on marriage, it only has to be valid for three years.

 Attorney FeeUSCIS FeeOther Fees
N-400 Application for Naturalization$500-$1250$725USCIS Fee includes biometrics fee

Personal Loan for Immigration Lawyer Fees

Applying for a visa or a green card can be costly and the hefty fees can easily become an obstacle to fulfilling your dreams. This is especially considering you’ll probably have to pay an attorney to assist you in the process.

If family and friends can’t help with some extra finances, getting the cash required to apply for a green card or visa can be difficult for immigrants or foreign nationals. Fortunately, Stilt offers personal loans to immigrants and the underserved.

Your Stilt personal loan can be used to cover the application fees, as well as the much-advised attorney’s fees. This will give you peace of mind knowing that your application has been dealt with in the right manner.

Apply for your Stilt personal loan today!

Read More


Although the cost of applying for a visa can seem insurmountable, there is no need to try and avoid the good advice of an attorney you can’t afford. Getting a personal loan from Stilt, even and especially if you are an immigrant, is simple and easy. Getting the right loan and the right advice will help ensure that your future in the U.S stays rosy. And if you’re located in or around New York City, check out our guide to the best immigration lawyers in New York!

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