How Much Does a U.S. Work Permit Cost? Lawyers' Fees and Filing Fees

Filing costs and attorney fees normally required in order to submit Form I-765 to USCIS, seeking a work permit for U.S. employment.

When submitting Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the agency will likely require you to pay a standard filing fee. This fee is nonrefundable. That means if your application for a work permit is denied, you do not get your money back. So, you'll want to make sure you meet the eligibility criteria for a work permit before applying! However, some people are either exempt from the fee or do not need to pay it because it's included within the fee for a larger application, as described below.

In addition, if you have an attorney help you with your application, the attorney will charge a fee for these services, as explained below.

How Much Is the I-765 Filing Fee?

On April 1, 2024, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) fee structure changed. Filing an I-765 now (in most cases) costs $479 if filing online, $520 if submitting a paper application. Biometrics will be automatically included in the fee.

Filing Fees When Submitting Form I-765 With Adjustment of Status Application (I-485)

Applicants filing a Form I-765 concurrently with Form I-485 will pay a discounted fee of $260.

Who Is Exempt From Paying USCIS's I-765 Filing Fee?

In order to determine the filing fees, and whether one is exempt from them, an applicant must first determine their category of eligibility under the Instructions to Form I-765.

The following eligibility categories need not pay an I-765 filing fee for their first application (but we'll note below when they must pay a renewal fee for subsequent EADs):

  • Refugees and asylees (already granted asylum) as well as those who have become eligible to apply for a work permit while their asylum application is pending (renewal fees are required in both cases).
  • Eligible applicants who are citizens of Micronesia, Palau, or the Marshall Islands.
  • Persons holding N-8 or N-9 immigrant status. (Renewal fees required.)
  • Persons granted withholding of deportation.
  • Certain dependents of diplomatic personnel of foreign governments, NATO, or international organizations.
  • VAWA self-petitioners.

For more, please see How to Apply for a U.S. Work Permit (EAD).

Lawyers' Fees for Preparing USCIS Form I-765

If you wish to have a lawyer help you prepare the Form I-765, the lawyer will likely charge for their services. For standard tasks such as these, most immigration attorneys charge a flat fee. That makes it easy to compare fees between attorneys. A typical fee for this particular service is from $250 to $500.

The lawyer might also separately bill you for expenses, such as the costs of photocopies and mailing documents to USCIS. You can ask the attorney to estimate these costs in advance.

And, you will have to have two color passport-style photos taken to send with the application, which will probably cost around $15.

For more on hiring an attorney, see these articles on Using an Immigration Lawyer.

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