Details on Added Fees for Certain H1B and L-1 Petitions25 Jan 2016
As previously discussed on MurthyDotCom, the omnibus spending bill passed by Congress in December 2015 included provisions that increase an already hefty filing fee for H1B and L-1 petitions filed by companies that meet certain requirements. As of December 18, 2015 – the date the bill was signed into law – subject employers must pay the increased fee of $4,000 for all new H1B employees and $4,500 for all new L1A and L1B employees.
Employers Subject to Added Fees
Only companies with 50 employees or more in the United States, at least 50 percent of whom are in H1B or L-1 status, are subject to the new fee. If a company has fewer than 50 employees in the U.S., or if company’s combined total of H1B and L-1 workers is less than 50 percent of its total U.S. workforce, the fee does not apply.
Fee Required Only for Initial Petition or Change of Employer
Subject employers do not need to include the $4,000 or $4,500 fee each time an H1B or L-1 petition is filed. Rather, an employer generally is required to pay the fee no more than once per employee. That is to say, a subject employer must include the fee for an initial petition to grant H1B or L-1 status to a foreign national. Or, if the foreign national is already working for a different company in H1B or L-1 status, the fee must be included with the H1B or L-1 petition requesting a change to a subject employer. The “U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued a news alert that provides more details on the new fee.
It is important for employers to properly assess filing fee requirements. As of February 11, 2016, petitions filed without the correct filing fees may be rejected outright. Until that date, the USCIS has indicated that it may issue a request for evidence (RFE) to determine whether the new fee is required.
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