EB-2 NIW Visa Costs: Everything You Need to Know

Table of Content

In this article, we break down the EB-2 NIW visa costs associated with the EB-2 National Interest Waiver visa application for permanent residency in the U.S. so you can plan ahead and make informed decisions. 

To find out more about the EB-2 NIW visa, click here for our in-depth guide.

Quick Summary of EB-2 NIW Visa Costs if applying from within the U.S.:

Note that the minimum total EB-2 NIW visa costs does not include all optional items, namely premium processing, form I-765, and business plan services, while the maximum total cost assumes all fees’ maximum costs, including all optional items.

ItemEB-2 NIW Visa Costs without lawyer feesEB-2 NIW Visa Costs with lawyer fees
Form I-140 (immigrant petition for an alien worker) filing fee$700$700
From I-485 (application to register permanent residence or adjust status) filing fee$1,140$1,140
Biometrics fee$85$85
Medical examination$200 to $500$200 to $500
Translation of documents$50 to $500$50 to $500
Credential evaluation$200 to $500$200 to $500

Optional but recommended if already in the U.S.:

Form I-765 (application for employment authorization document) filing fee



Premium processing fee



Business plan services

$2,000 to $7,000$2,000 to $7,000
Immigration lawyer fees$0$5,000 to $15,000
Total:$2,375 to $13,475$7,375 to $28,475

Quick Summary of EB-2 NIW Visa Costs if applying from outside the U.S.:

Note that the minimum total EB-2 NIW visa costs do not include all optional items, namely premium processing and business plan services, while the maximum total cost assumes all fees’ maximum costs, including all optional items.

ItemEB-2 NIW Visa Costs without lawyersEB-2 NIW Visa Costs with lawyers
Form I-140 (immigrant petition for an alien worker) filing fee$700$700
Form DS-260 (immigrant visa application) or Consulate fee$325$325
Medical examination$200 to $500$200 to $500
Translation of documents$50 to $500$50 to $500
Credential evaluation$200 to $500$200 to $500


Premium processing fee



Business plan services

$2,000 to $7,000$2,000 to $7,000
Immigration lawyer fees$5,000 to $15,000$5,000 to $15,000
Total:$1,475 to $12,025$6,475 to $27,025

Full Breakdown of all EB-2 NIW Visa Costs

Firstly, applying for a National Interest Waiver (NIW) does not incur any additional fees associated with the EB-2 visa. 

It merely serves as additional documentation to demonstrate that you, the EB-2 visa applicant, possess an advanced degree or exceptional ability or contribution that would be of national interest, thereby it would be within the United State’s best interest to waive the requirement of a labor certification or job offer for you. 

In other words, the NIW allows you to self-petition for your EB-2 visa, as you no longer need an employer to petition you.

Form I-140 is officially known as the Immigrant Petition for Alien Workers. It is filed with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) by an employer (petitioner) on behalf of a foreign national worker. For an NIW case, you will file form I-140 as a self-petitioner. 

Form I-140 is a key component of the EB-2 NIW immigration process involving information about your job position, qualifications, and evidence supporting the claim that your contributions are in the national interest. 

Its approval by the USCIS confirms that your petition has been accepted, and you are now eligible for an employment-based immigrant visa. Form I-140 costs $700.

Form I-485 is officially known as the Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status

It is filed with the USCIS by individuals who are already in the United States and seeking to adjust their immigration status to obtain a green card or become lawful permanent residents based on the eligibility criteria following the U.S. immigration laws. 

It involves personal information, biographical details, and immigration history and must be supported by documentation that demonstrates or evidences eligibility for adjustment of status. Form I-485 costs $1,140.

Form I-765 is officially known as the Application for Employment Authorization Document (EAD). 

It is filed with the USCIS to request an EAD or a work permit, allowing applicants already in the United States to work while processing their EB-2 NIW visa. 

Securing an EAD is optional but recommended for applicants who are already in the U.S. and are applying to adjust their status since it will allow you to seek temporary employment to help cover your EB-2 NIW visa costs or for extra disposable income while waiting for approval. 

Form I-765 costs $550. Note that this is not applicable if you are applying from outside the U.S.

Biometrics involves the collection of the applicant’s fingerprints, photographs, and signatures for background checks and identity verification purposes. 

The biometrics fee is $85. It is important to note that it is tied with Form I-485 for applicants already in the U.S. applying to adjust their status from a different visa to the EB-2 NIW visa. 

Thus, for applicants applying from outside the U.S., the biometrics fee does not apply since their biometric information is not typically conducted at the U.S. embassy or consulate. 

Instead, it will be scheduled and completed at a USCIS Application Support Center in the U.S.

The Medical examination involves reviewing your medical history, a physical examination, a vaccination assessment, laboratory tests, and a chest X-ray. 

You will be required to follow the U.S. immunization guidelines, so if any required vaccinations are missing or incomplete, you may be required to receive them during your medical examination. 

You will also be required to screen for tuberculosis through a chest X-ray. Note that an authorized panel physician must conduct your medical examination. 

Check this guide for more information, including a list of qualified and authorized panel physicians by country. 

The typical price range for a medical examination is $200 to $500 in the U.S. However, it is best to check with your local provider since the cost may vary from country to country. 

In addition, it is vital to consider the timing of your medical examination in relation to your overall immigration process to ensure the results remain valid throughout the process. 

The results are typically valid for six months for immigrant visa applications, while it is one year for adjustment of status.

You may need to seek document translation services if your documents are in a different language than English. 

Document translation services would apply to any evidence or document you submit that is not in English; for instance, your academic certificates, reference letters, or other supporting documents. 

It is recommended that professionals translate all of your documentation appropriately so that the USCIS adjudicator understands all supporting documents linked to the EB-2 NIW application and trusts that the translation is accurate. 

Failure to submit translated documents will undoubtedly lead to a rejection, as it would be difficult to verify the documents’ contents and their accuracy. 

The typical price range for these services in the U.S. is $50 to $500. The cost will vary depending on the country you acquire translation services from, and some may charge per word, page, or document. 

It is best to check your local providers for the most cost-effective option.

Credential evaluation is a process that objectively assesses and verifies your educational and professional credentials earned outside of the U.S. 

It determines whether these credentials are equivalent to the educational standards in the U.S. Thus, it is to ensure that you truly meet all eligibility requirements for the EB-2 NIW visa. 

Credential evaluation costs $200 to $500. Ensure you check your local evaluation agency, as the cost may vary.

The USCIS recently announced it would make premium or expedited processing available for EB-2 NIW applicants. 

Paying for premium processing is optional and applies to the processing of the form I-140. Standard processing times vary depending on factors like the USCIS workload, current processing times, and complexity of petitions, and can take several months to a year. 

In contrast, premium processing guarantees a decision on the petition within fifteen calendar days of the premium processing request. 

Premium processing EB-2 NIW visa costs $2,500. Choosing between standard and premium processing for form I-140 depends on your specific circumstances and urgency. It may be beneficial for those with time-sensitive requirements.

Business plan services are optional but recommended, especially for applicants who are not native English speakers. 

These services are offered by immigration consultants or business plan writers who will tailor a comprehensive business plan highlighting your advanced degree, exceptional ability or expertise, and accomplishments in your field. 

Business plan services also include in-depth market analysis and research, making it a worthwhile service to invest in. The cost for this service varies depending on the provider and can range from $2,000 to $7,000

For more information on business plan services offered by Immigration Business Plan, click here.

Hiring an immigration lawyer is optional but very beneficial as they can assess your eligibility, evaluate your supporting evidence, and provide legal advice and guidance, even legal representation, as necessary. 

It typically costs between $5,000 to $15,000. It is important to check what services each immigration lawyer provides and compare and contrast them to find the best bang for your buck. 

Miscellaneous costs include travel costs, document copies, postage, notary fees, passport photos, and other expenses that may arise during your application process. It is helpful to  set aside funding and consider them in your budget.

How to Minimize the EB-2 NIW Visa Costs

  • Avoid premium processing – if you are not in a time-sensitive situation, it may be best to forgo spending $2,500 on expediting the form I-140 process. It will save you a lot of money that can be redirected elsewhere.

  • Prepare your documents well – organize and prepare your documents well to ensure they are complete. They must meet requirements to prevent delays, additional requests for evidence, and other expenses associated with resubmitting or correcting your documents. Ensure that you select supporting documents that are relevant and impactful to your case.

  • Research fee waivers – it may be worthwhile to look for fee waivers for certain application components, such as the form I-485 for applicants already in the U.S. applying to adjust their status who meet the eligibility criteria.

  • Consider hiring an immigration lawyer for a limited scope – instead of hiring an immigration lawyer for full representation, you can save money by opting for limited scope representation. It can refer to providing services only regarding guidance or legal strategy.

  • Writing your own business plan – if you have a strong understanding of business and feel confident in your research and writing skills, consider writing your own business plan. However, this would require investing a lot of time and effort in tailoring your business plan to showcase your exceptional abilities and national interest significance. It may not be advisable for applicants who struggle with the English language. 

  • Double-check everything and avoid mistakes – to prevent incurring extra costs due to mistakes in your documentation or petition, double-check everything and ensure there are no mistakes. Even simple misspellings in your personal information or missing signatures can result in wasting money due to visa denial.

Why Should You Consider Hiring an Immigration Lawyer?

If you are seeking a National Interest Waiver for your EB-2 visa, a qualified and experienced immigration lawyer can make the process less daunting and provide clarity for you. 

Here are some benefits of hiring an EB-2 NIW immigration lawyer:

  • Tailored legal advice – perhaps the most important aspect of all, immigration lawyers offer tailored legal advice and support. They can answer your questions, discuss your options and rights, guide you through all the system’s complexities, and ensure you meet all eligibility criteria and requirements. They will also help navigate any issues arising during and after your application.

  • NIW adds complexity – not every EB-2 petitioner is qualified to seek the National Interest Waiver. It also adds complexity to the case due to the subjective nature of determining whether your contribution will be of national interest to the U.S., as the USCIS officers may interpret it differently. Additionally, the evidence required to prove your contribution’s significance may require complicated documents. Thus, hiring an experienced immigration lawyer can help strengthen your legal strategy based on your specific circumstances, enabling you to present your qualifications and evidence persuasively to meet NIW requirements.

  • Expertise and knowledge – experienced immigration lawyers correctly interpret immigration laws, which can be complex and constantly evolving. They possess a deep understanding of regulations, procedures, and policies. They are also always updated with the latest changes, providing accurate and reliable advice tailored to your circumstances. Moreover, they can present you with options should your original plan be insufficient for your purpose.

  • Proper document and application preparation – immigration lawyers are experienced in preparing the required documents for your application. They can guide you through gathering significant evidence, drafting recommendation letters, and ensuring your overall application is complete and properly presented.

Benefits of Hiring Business Plan Services

If you do not posses the necessary research and writing skills to write a compelling business plan, it might be helpful to hire a business plan consultant or writer to craft a well-researched and tailored business plan for you. 

Here are the benefits of hiring a business plan services:

  • Expertise in immigration business plans – business plan services who specialize in immigration applications have extensive knowledge and experience in crafting a tailored business plan that meets the specific requirements of immigration authorities. They understand what elements are required to demonstrate the national interest significance of your contribution or exceptional ability, which eases your burden so you can focus on other aspects of your application.

  • Persuasive and compelling content – business plan services can work closely with you to gather information about your achievements and contributions to write a cohesive and complete business plan that presents your case in a compelling manner, thus strengthening your application and increasing your chance of success.

  • Avoid errors – hiring a business plan consultant or writer will allow you to submit a business plan that will be free of errors and grammatical mistakes that could result in an unprofessional presentation.

  • Collaboration with immigration lawyers – business plan service providers often collaborate with immigration attorneys to ensure that your business plan fits the legal requirements for the EB-2 NIW visa, resulting in a well-written business plan consistent with your application’s goals.

  • Save time and effort – business plans require thorough market research and expertise, which can be time-consuming. You can offload this task to professionals who specialize in writing a clear, persuasive, and well-researched business plan, allowing you to free up your time and focus on other parts of your application.

To learn more about Immigration Business Plan’s services, click here. To inquire, click here

Related Posts