On December 18, 2015, President Obama signed into law an increase in fees for certain H–1B and L–1A and L–1B petitions, through a signing of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016.
These additional fees apply to petitioners who have 50 or more employees in the United States and have more than 50 percent of employees in H–1B, or L status, and who have filed petitions for either status postmarked on or after December 18, 2015.
H–1B Petition Fee Increase
H–1B visas are nonimmigrant visas that are known for allowing high-tech workers to come to the United States. But the H–1B visa program is for any U.S.-based employer that wants to hire a worker with “highly specialized knowledge” in any field. As part of the process, the employer will petition for the worker with United States Citizenship and Immigration Services and will pay the associated fees.
However, the fees vary based on the size of the employer and whether that employer already employs H–1B workers:
- Base Filing Fee: $325
- Fraud Prevention and Detection Fee (not applicable to H–1B1): $500
- Additional Fee based on Employer: a. 1 to 25 full-time equivalent employees: $750 b. 26 or more full-time equivalent employees: $1,500
- Optional Premium Processing Fee: $1,225
The law signed by President Obama on December 18, 2015 applies for those employers who employ 50 or more employees, with 50 percent of those employees in H–1B or L status. Those employers must pay $4,000 for filing H–1B petitions on or after December 18, 2015.
L–1 Petition Fee Increase
The L–1A and L–1B visas are nonimmigrant visas that allow a U.S. employer to transfer an executive or manager, or a person with specialized knowledge, from one of its affiliated foreign offices to one of its offices in the U.S.
The fee structure for L–1 applications follows the same rate as above, but President Obama’s recent change in law results in an additional $4,500 fee for employers who employ 50 or more employees, with 50 percent of those employees in H–1B or L status.
If you have any questions or concerns about these new fees, or about your H–1B or L–1 petition, the Law Offices of Vivek Mittal can assist you. Contact us for a consultation.