The EB2 NIW visa cost includes a $700 filing fee for the I-140 petition, which is the primary application charge. EB-2 National Interest Waiver (NIW) is a unique category of employment-based visas available to foreign nationals who are exceptional in their field of expertise and whose work is considered to be in the national interest of the United States. This visa category allows individuals to bypass the standard labor certification process, which can be lengthy and cumbersome, and apply directly for permanent residency.
Cost Details for EB2 NIW Visa
- Filing Fee for the I-140 Petition: This is the main EB-2 NIW visa application fee, currently $700.
- Premium Processing Fee: If you want to expedite the processing of your application, you can pay an additional fee of $2,500 for premium processing. It is optional and can help to speed up the process.
- Adjustment of Status Fee: If you are already in the U.S. and are applying for an EB-2 NIW visa to adjust your status, there is an additional fee of $1,140 for filing the I-485 form.
- Consular Processing Fee: If you are applying for an EB-2 NIW visa from outside the U.S., you must go through consular processing, which involves additional fees.
- Biometric Fee: As part of the application process, you must provide biometric information (such as fingerprints), which costs $85.
- Attorney's Fees : If you choose to work with an immigration attorney, there will be additional fees for their services. These fees can vary widely depending on the attorney and the complexity of your case.
It's important to note that these fees are subject to change, so it's always a good idea to check the USCIS website for the most up-to-date information.
How to Minimize Your EB2 NIW Visa Costs
Do It Yourself
While hiring an immigration attorney can be helpful, it can also be expensive. If you feel confident in your ability to navigate the application process independently, you can save money by doing so.
Be Thorough and Organized
Filing an incomplete or incorrect application can result in delays and additional expenses. Take the time to carefully review all the requirements and ensure you have all the necessary documentation.
Avoid Premium Processing
While premium processing can be useful to expedite your application, it comes with an additional fee of $2,500. If you have time to spare, consider forgoing premium processing to save money.
Consider Consular Processing
Suppose you are applying for an EB-2 NIW visa from outside the U.S.. In that case, you may save money by going through consular processing instead of adjusting your status within the U.S. This can eliminate some of the fees associated with adjustment of status.
Research Fee Waivers
Sometimes, you may be eligible for a fee waiver based on your income or other factors. Check the USCIS website for more information on fee waivers and eligibility requirements.
It's important to remember that minimizing costs shouldn't come at the expense of quality. Filing an incomplete or incorrect application can result in costly delays or even a denial of your visa application. Consider working with an immigration attorney if you have doubts about navigating the process independently.
Additional Expenses of EB2 NIW Visa
In addition to the application and attorney's fees, additional expenses may be associated with obtaining an EB-2 NIW visa. Here are some common additional expenses to consider:
- Translation and Document Preparation Fees: If any of your supporting documents are not in English, you may need to translate them, which can be an additional expense. Additionally, you may need to pay for document preparation services to ensure that all your paperwork is in order.
- Medical Exam Fees: As part of the application process, you may be required to undergo a medical exam by a USCIS-approved doctor. It can be an additional expense, although it can vary widely depending on your location and the doctor you see.
- Travel Expenses: If you need to travel for an interview or to attend a consular appointment, there may be additional expenses associated with transportation, lodging, and meals.
- Credential Evaluation Fees: If your degree or professional experience was obtained outside the U.S., you might need to evaluate your credentials by a third-party service to ensure they meet the USCIS requirements. It can be an additional expense.
- Application Renewal Fees: If your application is not approved on the first try, you may need to renew your application and pay the filing fee again.
Investigating these additional expenses is important when budgeting for your EB-2 NIW visa application. The total cost can vary widely depending on your circumstances, so it's a good idea to consult an immigration attorney or research for an accurate estimate.
Key Terms for EB2 NIW Visas
- National Interest Waiver: This waiver allows foreign nationals to bypass the usual requirement of having an employer sponsor them for a visa. Instead, the foreign national can self-petition and demonstrate that their work is in the national interest of the United States.
- Advanced Degree: To be eligible for an EB-2 visa, the applicant must have an advanced degree or equivalent. It can include a master's degree, a Ph.D., or a combination of education and experience equivalent to an advanced degree.
- Labor Certification: In most cases, an employer must obtain a labor certification from the U.S. Department of Labor before sponsoring a foreign national for an employment-based visa. However, the National Interest Waiver allows foreign nationals to bypass this requirement.
- Priority Date: It is the date that the applicant's labor certification or I-140 petition is filed. This data determines when the applicant can apply for an adjustment of status or consular processing.
- Adjustment of Status: This is the process of changing an individual's immigration status from a nonimmigrant status to that of a lawful permanent resident (green card holder) while the individual is in the United States. Applicants already in the United States can apply for an adjustment of status instead of going through consular processing.
Final Thoughts on EB2 NIW Visas
The EB-2 National Interest Waiver visa can be a great option for foreign nationals who wish to work and live in the United States without needing an employer sponsor. By demonstrating that their work is in the national interest of the United States, applicants can self-petition for this visa category and bypass the usual labor certification process.
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