USCIS’s New Fee Structure and What It Means for EB-2 NIW and EB-1A Applicants

USCIS's New Fee Structure and What It Means for EB-2 NIW and EB-1A Applicants

Big news for those looking to petition for the EB-2 NIW and EB-1A: USCIS has recently fine-tuned its fee requirements, and it’s something you’ll want to pay attention to. The changes revolve around the Asylum Program Fee, initially thought to be only $600 for employers but actually impacts self-petitioners, as well.

For those unfamiliar, the EB-2 NIW (National Interest Waiver) and EB-1A (Extraordinary Ability) categories hold significant appeal for individuals seeking to establish themselves within the United States based on their exceptional skills and contributions. Let’s delve deeper into these classifications to comprehend their relevance within the context of USCIS’s fee adjustments.


The EB-2 NIW classification caters to individuals possessing advanced degrees or exceptional abilities whose work is deemed to be in the national interest of the United States. This pathway enables applicants to bypass the cumbersome labor certification process typically required for employment-based green cards. It attracts professionals, researchers, and entrepreneurs whose endeavors contribute substantially to fields such as science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), thereby enriching the nation’s intellectual capital and economic competitiveness.


On the other hand, the EB-1A category is tailored for individuals demonstrating extraordinary ability in fields such as the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics. Unlike other employment-based immigrant visa categories, EB-1A petitioners are not required to secure a job offer or undergo the labor certification process. Instead, they must exhibit sustained national or international acclaim, as evidenced by significant achievements and recognitions within their respective fields. This classification is particularly sought after by distinguished researchers, artists, athletes, and innovators seeking to establish permanent residency in the United States based on their exceptional talents and achievements.

A New Fee Joins the Mix

In light of USCIS’s revised fee structure, applicants pursuing petitions under the EB-2 NIW and EB-1A categories must now account for the newly introduced Asylum Program Fee. This fee, initially presumed to exclusively impact employers, now extends its reach to self-petitioners, necessitating a nuanced understanding of its implications within the context of these esteemed classifications. While the reduced fee of $300 for self-petitioners under EB-2 NIW and EB-1A appears favorable compared to the original $600, it nonetheless adds a financial dimension that applicants must consider in their immigration endeavors.

Why This Matters

If you’re planning to self-petition under these categories, known for attracting top-tier talent and those whose work benefits the U.S. nationally, this new fee is something to factor into your budget and timeline. It reflects a broader USCIS strategy to better fund its operations through the fees it collects, ensuring faster processing times and fewer backlogs—something we can all get behind.

The Bigger Picture

This fee is part of USCIS’s toolkit to stabilize its funding and enhance service delivery. With most of its budget fed by application fees, strategic fee adjustments are vital for keeping the agency afloat and functioning efficiently. For applicants, understanding these financial shifts is key to navigating the immigration path smoothly.

Stay Informed

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To ensure a smooth journey through the complexities of U.S. immigration, staying ahead with informed and proactive planning is crucial. As you navigate through this evolving landscape, don’t let unforeseen hurdles slow you down. Ready to take the next step? Send us your resume for evaluation today, and let’s prepare you for the road ahead, tackling financial and bureaucratic challenges together.

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Disclaimer: This article is intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. For personalized guidance on your EB2 NIW green card application, please consult with a qualified immigration attorney.

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