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Statutes of Liberty: How much do immigration lawyers charge?

This sponsored column is by Law Office of James Montana PLLC. All questions about it should be directed to James Montana, Esq., Doran Shemin, Esq., Janice Chen, Esq., and Austen Soare, Esq., practicing attorneys at The Law Office of James Montana PLLC, an immigration-focused law firm located in Falls Church, Virginia. The legal information given here is general in nature. If you want legal advice, contact us for an appointment.

[We intend to continue our Meet Your Immigration Professional series soon, with new and interesting characters, but the next interview slot falls after today’s article, so we’re providing a direct legal advertisement in this space rather than indirectly advertising our law office via cogent analysis of recent developments in immigration law. (“Was that saying the quiet part out loud?” – Yes, yes, it was.] 

In our advertorials on ARLnow, we offer news summaries, news analyses, legal predictions, and (sometimes) mildly goofy photographs of our lawyers. This time, the Bean Counter in Chief our principal attorney, James Montana, has demanded that we do something new and unexpected: advertise our services. 

Therefore, here is a brief summary of what we do, what we (presently) charge, and how we approach our financial relationship with our clients. Keep in mind, as you read this, that all of our fees are set by agreement, in writing, with the client, and that no sensible lawyer guarantees success. This article lays out the landscape for our services and fees, but prospective clients should understand that fee agreements are individual and case-specific. Please also understand that these fees do not include the fees charged by USCIS or other government agencies, which can be substantial.


We charge $200 for a consultation with one of our lawyers. In our consultation, we explore, thoroughly and carefully, whether the prospective client has any possibilities for immigration relief and discuss the best approach to obtaining relief. Consultations at our office frequently run more than an hour.

If the client subsequently signs a Representation Agreement, we subtract the consultation fee previously paid from the bill.

Green cards

Green cards come in many flavors – employment based green card applications, family-based green card applications, green card applications based on prior grants of asylum or refugee status, and many, many more. 

Our most common kind of green card application is based on marriage, either to a United States Citizen or a Lawful Permanent Resident. 

We charge $3900, flat fee, to apply for a green card under those circumstances. That assumes many things about the prospective client – for example, that there is no ongoing case in immigration court, and that no waiver is necessary. Fees can be considerably higher.

Work permits

Fees for work permit application preparation and legal representation vary widely at our office. To take a common example: We charge $400 to renew TPS or DACA, which includes both a renewal application for that benefit and includes the concurrent work authorization request. 

A warning: Frequently, work permits are (1) not available, for a given client, (2) much more expensive than you’d think, and (3) an adjunct to another application. Rare, rare is the day on which an immigrant applies for a work permit without another application attached. 


Fees for asylum applications vary at our office depending on whether the applicant is applying affirmatively, before the asylum office, or defensively, before the immigration court. Typically, our fees for asylum defense range from $4000 to $6500.


Our fee for naturalization applications is $750. We’re happy to admit that this is a loss leader for us – we love making new U.S. citizens!

Pro Bono Cases

We do as much pro bono work as we can. Our pro bono cases tend to be referrals from our friends and colleagues at Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington, or from the Borromeo Legal Project., Inc.

Low-Bono and Pro Bono Referrals

We are always happy to refer prospective clients who can’t afford our fees to local non-profit agencies. (Here is an article which provides a nationwide list, including agencies in both Virginia and Maryland.) Local non-profit agencies are, lamentably, extremely capacity-constrained. We need more low-cost providers of services in our profession. In two upcoming interviews, we’ll be introducing a legal aid attorney and a large nonprofit administrator, and asking them detailed questions about that problem.

As always, we welcome your comments and will do our best to respond.

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