Immigration Attorney Fees: Everything You Need to Know
People who are in need of legal assistance with regard to a variety of immigration issues will owe immigration attorney fees. 6 min read
Immigration Attorney Fees
People who are in need of legal assistance with regard to a variety of immigration issues will owe immigration attorney fees. There are many reasons to hire a qualified immigration attorney when dealing with such issues. Most importantly, immigration issues can be very complex and time-consuming. Whether you are in need of help applying for a visa, family-based petition, or detention and deportation issues, you’ll want the assistance of an immigration attorney who can assist you throughout the lengthy process, and even save you roughly 4-8 weeks in processing time.
Immigration attorneys also know what type of relief or visa you should be applying for, as the legal realm of immigration can be more complex than most would initially think. This way, your attorney will draft the proper application for you, saving you time, money, and the hassle of doing the work on your own.
An immigration attorney can also help you prepare for your interview that will take place either at a consulate office or at the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Having the assistance of an immigration attorney to prepare you for such an interview will significantly lower the risk of being rejected in its final stages.
Your attorney will review the facts of your case, advising you on the likelihood in succeeding in the type of visa you wish to apply for. He or she will also assist you in any deportation issues that may arise during the process. In fact, applying for relief via a waiver, visa, or via an adjustment of status increases the likelihood that immigration authorities will investigate your application and potentially exclude you from being successful, or alternatively, deport you back to your home country. An immigration attorney can also specify whether or not any prior convictions will affect the probability of success in your application. If, for example, you require a waiver of inadmissibility to cure your unlawful presence or specific prior crimes, i.e. fraud, you will want an immigration attorney to help you through the process as you will likely face deportation and an inability to re-enter the U.S. if you attempt to do it alone.
For such unlawful presence and certain prior crimes, there are other documents available, including the U Visa as well as the K-1/K-3 fiancé visa, which generally provide for faster processing times.
Once you’re ready to hire a qualified immigration attorney to assist you, be sure to conduct your research in terms of which law firm has the most attractive rates. Never sign a contract until you know what the fee schedule/rates are like, and how much more you may have to pay in the event any unforeseen circumstances arise.
Other Considerations When Hiring an Immigration Attorney
- Green card applications: This fee will vary based on the region in which you are located in the United States.
- If you are currently in removal proceedings, the lawyer will charge you according to the level of work that needs to be done, i.e. negotiations, appearing in court, bond hearings, etc.
- If a lawyer quotes you an hourly rate, you can expect to pay between $100-$350/hour.
- Keep in mind that attorneys who work for large law firms may charge a higher rate. Similarly, immigration attorneys with several years of experience will also charge higher fees.
- Be sure to verify that the lawyer is in good standing with the state in which you are seeking help.
- You can be creative. If the lawyer is charging too much, ask him or her if you can split the work so that you can be charged a lot less.
- Seek the assistance of a nonprofit organization that may be able to assist you with your immigration issues.
- Some attorney fees may be due upfront. But that doesn’t mean that you won’t have other fees to pay periodically during the application process, i.e. filing fees.
Filing fees are not the same as immigration attorney fees. Remember that immigration attorney fees are the fees to be paid to the attorney for the work being done on your behalf. Filing fees are the fees set by the USCIS to cover the cost of arbitrating immigration applications.
Short-term Visitor Visas
- B-1 Business Visa: $400 for the attorney’s fee. NOTE that there is no filing fee associated with this application. Generally, this application takes roughly five days.
- B-1/B-2 Visa (Renewal/Extension or Change of Status): If you intend on staying in the United States longer than expected, you’ll need to fill out this document. Again, this document, should you choose to hire an immigration attorney, will be a $400 attorney’s fee. The filing fee is $370 and the processing time takes between 60 to 90 days.
Work Visas (Temporary Employment)
- H-1B: Attorney’s fee is $995, filing fee ranges from $460 to $3,460. Processing time is 15-150 days.
- H-1B for Singapore or Chilean citizens: $895 attorney’s fee, filing fee of $460, processing time ranging from 5-120 days.
- H-4: Attorney’s fee ranging from $200 to $400. Filing fee of $370 and processing time ranges from 15-150 days.
- L-1 Visa: Attorney’s fee of $2,500. Filing fee is $460. Processing time ranging from 15-150 days.
- E-3 Visa: Attorney’s fee of $500, filing fee ranges from $0 to $460, and the processing time is 1-60 days.
- TN Visa: Attorney’s fee of $500, filing fee is $0-$460 and processing time is 1-60 days.
- DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals): Attorney’s fee of $300, filing fee of $465, and processing time of around 30 days.
Fiancé and Spouse Visas
- K-1 Visa Petition (Fiancé of a US Citizen): $795 attorney’s fee, filing fee of $535, and processing time ranging from 6-9 months.
- CR-1-Petition (Spouse of a US Citizen): $795 attorney’s fee, filing fee of $535, and processing time ranging from 8-10 months.
- I-751 Petition to Remove Conditions of Residence: $700 attorney’s fee, filing fee of $595, and processing time ranging between 10-12 months.
Employer-Sponsored Green Cards
- Green Card for Spouse: $795 attorney’s fee, filing fee of $1,675, and processing time of around 6 months from the filing of the green card to the time of the interview.
- Employer Sponsored Green Card: $2,000 attorney’s fee, filing fee of $700, and processing time ranging between 2-3 years.
- Green Card for Multinational Executives and Managers and L-1A Visa Holders: $900 attorney’s fee, filing fee of $700, and processing time ranging between 4-8 months.
- Green Card for Physical Therapists: $1,400 attorney’s fee, filing fee of $700, and processing time roughly 1 year.
- Green Card for Registered Nurses: $1,400 attorney’s fee, filing fee of $700, and processing time roughly 1 year.
- Green Card for Outstanding Researchers/Professors: $1,500 attorney’s fee, filing fee of $750, and processing time ranging between 4-8 months.
- Adjustment of Status (I-140): Attorney’s fee of $825, filing fee of $1,225, and processing time roughly 6 months.
- AC-21 Portability for Pending I-485 Petitions. Attorney’s fee of $400. No filing fee. Processing time is immediate.
Self-Sponsored Green Cards
- Green Card by National Interest Waiver: Attorney's fee of $2,900, filing fee of $700, and processing time ranging from 4-8 months.
- Green Card by Extraordinary Ability (EB-1): Attorney’s fee of $2,900, filing fee of $700, and processing time ranging from 4-8 months.
- N-400 Application for Naturalization: Attorney's fee of $500. No filing fee. Processing time is 3 to 4 months.
- E-2 Visa (non-immigrant work visa): Attorney’s fee of $3,500. Filing fee of $0 to $325.
- TN Visa. Attorney’s fee of $1,550 and filing fee is $325.
- O1 Visa. $5,000 attorney’s fee. Filing fee is $325.
- Family-Based Petition filed by a U.S. Citizen. Attorney's fee of $2,500, filing fee is $420 and the department state fees is $610.
If you need help finding an immigration attorney, you can post your legal need on UpCounsel’s marketplace. UpCounsel accepts only the top 5 percent of lawyers to its site. Lawyers on UpCounsel come from law schools such as Harvard Law and Yale Law and average 14 years of legal experience, including work with or on behalf of companies like Google, Stripe, and Twilio.