H1B and L1 Visa Fee Increased by 4000 Dollars in 2015

News : H1B and L1 Fee to go up by $4000 and $4500 until year 2025

In H1B Visa News by Kumar68 Comments

Update : This Omnibus bill to increase the H1B and L1 petition Fee passed both US House of Representatives and US Senate on Friday ( Dec 18th, 2015). It was also singed by President Obama to be law soon. It is official, check USCIS Guidance on H1B and L1 Fee increase until 2025

Congress is set to vote on a bill that will increase the H1B and L1 visa petition application fee tomorrow ( Friday). Below is the quick summary of the changes.

Background :  Back in 2010, there was rule passed that increase H1B and L1 Fee by $2000, that rule ended earlier this year by Sep 30, 2015. Now, on the similar lines to fund the border protection and modernization of entry exit system by Bio-metrics tracking system, Congress is passing a massive bill that will increase the H1B and L1 Visa fees.

Summary of the H1B and L1 Visa Fee increase proposal by congress : 

  • The H1B visa petition application fee paid to USCIS for new and extensions to be increased by $4000 USD and the L1 visa application fee to increase by $4,500 USD for employers that fall under category as describe below.
    • Companies that have 50 or more employees in USA and 50 percent of their employees are non-immigrants.
  • The proposed fee increase will be valid for the next 10 year, until September 30, 2025.
  • Based on analysis from other news agencies, this change is expected to bring in about more than One Billion USD per year. 
  • Many of the Indian outsourcing companies and the Indian government are not very happy about the proposed changes as it takes a huge hit for all the outsourcing companies from their cost perspective.

What are your thoughts ?

Actual Screenshots from the Bill on Pages 1917 and 1918. 

H1B Visa Fee Increase by $4000 USD in 2015 L1 Visa Fee Increase by $4500 USD in 2015

 

You may read the full bill and details using the references.

References :

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Comments ( 68 )

  1. Venki

    Hi,

    My H1B Petition got approved in last Nov’15 but not yet stamped due to project downsize. Petition is only valid till this Sep’16. Will it be ok to file the new petition again for next year lottery.

    1. Chialse

      Hi, ur petition will be eligible for cap exempt after sep16. You can use this petition, no need to apply for new one.

  2. kame Micro

    Hi,

    I have a question regarding H1b Extension fee. Could you please tell me the fee details for first time H1b extension. Does the increased fee applies to extension for the first time with the same employer who filed H1b? Please let know.

    Thanks

  3. Monty

    I have been contacted by a company name ERP Cloud Technology Investment Private Limited a Cloud Group of Companies. They are asking me to apply for H1B through them by paying them as a security token $4000. If my application will be rejected then straightway they will deduct $1500 and refund me $2500. And if I will get H1B visa after passing through all steps then for 3 years they will put me at any one of their client with annual package between $60000 to $70000. And after 3 years they will refund me my complete security token $4000 and also they will help me for getting Green Card. Any one can suggest if it is valid process to get H1B and is this a valid company?

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Monty,

      It is not legal but lot of consulting companies do that.

      Ask them about their potential clients. Lot of times small companies do not have clients and that causes petition to be denied. Is the “security deposit” refunded if it is denied due to reasons completely related to the employer?

      Salary offered is very basic and may be on the lower side in expensive areas like San Francisco. The good thing is that you can change employers on H-1 and can move to better paying jobs.

      Is there a bond period?

    2. Pradeep

      Monty,

      I got a call from the same concern. In case you are proceeding with those guys. Could you please give me a call on 9620202686?

      Regards,
      Pradeep

  4. Shafaque Khan

    Hi Kumar,

    I have a question in regards to “New Law Increases H-1B and L-1 Petition Fees”, my company doesn’t know as of now the change in the form. I just wanted to know that what will happen if the company files the petition after Feburary 11. Will there be extra fee charge if someone is late or will the petition will be rejected for this year?

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Shafaque Khan,

      The petition will be rejected outright w/o RFE if new form is not used or incorrect fees is submitted after Feb 11.

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          Sibananda Sahu,

          In order to give time to employers to adjust to new fees, USCIS will issue RFE for any petition filed prior to Feb 11 (but after Dec 18) which didn’t submit the additional fees. Any petition filed after Feb 11 will be rejected outright if incorrect fees is submitted.

          1. Chialse

            Hi Saurabh, Are you sure that the petition will be rejected if it is submitted without new fee after Feb 11? Any reference ? Because, few consultancies say that fee is in effect from Apr1st. Pls clarify.

          2. administrator
            Saurabh

            Chialse,

            Wondering if you asked those consultancies for proof that it is going into effect on April 1.

            Here is the official link.

            Refer to the text “USCIS may begin rejecting petitions received on or after Feb. 11, 2016 that do not complete Item Numbers 1.d. and 1.d.1 of Section 1 of the H-1B and H-1B1 Data Collection and Filing Fee Exemption Supplement and Item Numbers 4.a. and 4.b. of the L Classification Supplement, or include the additional Public Law 114-113 fee, if applicable”

            Now your turn to show me proof that it goes into effect from Apr 1.

  5. Sibananda Sahu

    One company should have more than 50 employees to be charged for the extra $4000.

    I just wanted to know what is that 50% non-immigrant means???

    Is it 50% of employees in the US on H1 or L1 visa from a particular company or 50% of their employees in total (Including India, US and all other nations)???

    For example:
    – company has 60 employees. (More than 50)
    – Company has 20 employees in the US. More than 10 employees with H1 or L1 visa. (Will this be counted as 50% non-immigrants)

    I will really appreciate any answer regarding this.

    Thanks.

      1. Pavan

        Question 1?

        If company has 40 Employees and but currently 30 are non-immigrants(More than 50 Percent)
        Will $4000 fee applicable for the new candidates who are filing H1B now?

        Question 2?
        How will the authority go about checking (Verifying) the headcount of the company ?
        If filed but fee was incorrectly paid , will the H1b application go into the lottery pool or we would be communicated before that only?
        If it is going into the lottery pool, but rejected due to this reason, will the reason be shared and can this checked be checked using the receipt number?

        Please answer
        Thanks in advance

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          Pavan,

          1. No, as they have less than 50 employees. They need to have at least 50 employees w/ at least 50% of them on H-1 and L-1, for the new fees to kick-in.

          2. They haven’t mentioned how they will check. Maybe through the payroll taxes the employer would report to IRS, not sure though. When the fees is incorrectly filed (as would be in this case), then petition is outright rejected. No RFE would be issued, package will be returned along w/ rejection reasons. The petition will be out of cap even if it had initially been selected in the lottery.

  6. Chandan

    I have a question. My H1B Extension was filed on September 2015 but I’m planning to promote it to premium processing. Would it cost me additional $$ other than the existing $1270?

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Rupali,

      I don’t think the university will have more than 50% of employees on H-1 and L-1. So they should be exempted.

    2. CDS

      The following employers are exempt from the h1b visa USCIS Education and Training Fee:
      1. Institutions of higher education and related or affiliated non-profit organizations;
      2. Non-profit and governmental research organizations;
      3. Any employer who is filing for a second or subsequent extension of stay for an H1B visa nonimmigrant;
      4. Primary or secondary education institutions; and
      5. Nonprofit entities which are engaged in “established curriculum-related clinical training of students”.

  7. rgdh1

    My petition was filed in July 2015, and decision is still pending. So should I ask my company(lawyer ) too submit the additional fees?

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      rgdh1,
      Only petitions filed after Dec 18 need to submit additional fees. You are exempted as it was filed much earlier.

  8. 2016- count?

    Hi Admin, how do u see this impacting upcoming visa season #s? Will the count go down drastically – as the multi-filing , thru consultants, would require more money now ?

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      2016- count?,
      This rule primarily impacts big Indian consulting companies like TCS, Infy and their filing numbers may go down. Either they will have to increase the budget allocation to H-1 filing, or cut the number in half if they want to maintain same budget (fees is almost double per filing for them).

      For desi consulting companies, I don’t see much impact as most of them have less than 50 employees. US employers are also not impacted as they don’t have more than 50% employees on H-1 and L-1 visas.

      So the numbers may go down but by how much is to be seen.

  9. abhi

    h1b visa should be only for us educated or over 10 years experience. STOP NON-SENSE OF ISSUING TO FRESH GRADUATES WHO DOES NOTHING IN INDIA TILL 2 YEARS AFTER GRADUATION AND FAKE ALL EXPERIENCE. INDIAN IT COMPANIES ARE FAKE MASTERS.

    TRAINING STARTS ONLY AFTER LOTTERY SELECTION.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Jags,

      If the consultancy has more than 50 employees (and most likely 100% of them will be on H-1 or L-1), then they will also have to pay the additional fees.

      As per law, there is no additional cost to YOU. The employer needs to pay the fees and not YOU.

      1. Akshay

        Can the consultancy not circumvent this extra fee by splitting into two? They could have 49 employees with everyone on H1, and still pay the regular/lower amount of fees right? The “solution” seems too simple. Could it be that straightforward?

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          Akshay,

          It may not be that simple.

          If they form a new company and transfer some employees, then they need to file H-1 transfers for all those employees, which would cost money. These transfers may run into issues as they will be from a brand new company.

          In addition, the clients would have contracts w/ old company and not new one. They will have to inform clients about this new company but try to hide the fact from USCIS that they are sister companies, which could be treated as fraud.

          Easiest solution is to hire non-H-1/L-1 visa holders to have less than 50% employees on H-1 and L-1.

          1. Akshay

            Ah! Never thought of it that way. I’m glad they’re doing this. Consultancies with their multiple filings really piss me off!

            As to your comment of hiring non-H1 holders, that’s easier said than done! 😀

  10. Shravan

    What does the term truly imply “increased by $4000”. For employers more than 50% employees on h1 do they have to pay $4000 in addition to existing fee ? say $8000 instead of $4000 ???

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Shravan,

      Yes, it is increasing by $4000. If they currently pay $XXX, then they will pay $XXX+4000 when this goes into effect.

      1. Veera

        But as on Sep 30 2015, $2000 fee for 50% employees on H1B & L1 got ended, so the fees will be $3325 for normal processing, in that, case, the new fee would be $7325.

        Saurabh, can you please, you/one of the admin in the team update blog in this site, regarding fees.

        Thanks,

        1. administrator
          Kumar

          Veera,
          We are not talking about the entire fee structure here, it just talks about the increase. I have updated H1B 2017 page already. We will post another article in future once USCIS gives more details on effective dates and process.

  11. Vijay M

    I believe the fees are unchanged for the companies with less than 50 employees or companies with less than 50% employees on H1B & L1.

  12. Ram

    IT plays a major role in every company. Many company including government hires IT workers/consultants. If the cost of managing IT increases by three times, is it possible for companies like insurance to serve Americans with the same price tag that they do today ?

  13. H1B_Info

    The above Highlighted section says,
    “Including for an application for an extension of such status…”

    Doesnt that mean, only for H1B extensions?
    Is it that, its applicable for H1B transfers as well?

    Sorry, I was not clear and trying to understand better.

    Thanks!

  14. Chinmay

    I am mechanical engineer pursuing my degree in American University. How it will affect me? I am pursuing my master’s degree and i will be graduating in May 2016.

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Chimay,
      It does not affect you directly…but, if you join a company that meets the above criteria, your employer would have to pay more fee to sponsor your H1B, thats the only thing that will impact…

  15. Naresh

    guys watch out where the discussion is going . No one is ripping no one . Some policies are made in the best interest of the people who belong to that land. Many factors like unemployment rate / GDP / growth index / home buyers % or on the contrary purely political motives. And its the price increased for 10 yr period what will be the inflation in 10 yrs . You are not realizing one thing this overhead mammoth costs will be passed on to the org consuming services else employ a local . If you don’t find the skill set in locals hire a H1-B still feel the heat then outsource it .

  16. mathew

    this rule is valid if it satisfies both the condition right
    more than 50 employees + 50% employees on h1b

    not individual conditions like just more than 50 employees?

  17. Karthik Srinivas

    Yes people, h1-b visa reform bill is passed and just got approved. The h1-b visa fee hiked to $4500 + $4000 ( if more than 50% employees are foreigners!) wow! That is more than 5 lakh rupees per each application?.?

    http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/obama-signs-omnibus-spending-bill-into-law-raises-h1b-visa-fee/article8007990.ece

  18. Amaran

    Let American companies establish branches in India and get the work done here, instead of Indians go to US for doing there work. This way India can benefit by way of more employment, taxes for the government, billing for I T companies. US is trying its protectionism attitude and collecting this fees from only Indian companies. This rule is not applicable to US companies. It is good that Indian companies will restrict themselves in sponsoring only very essential staff overseas.
    This burden could be passed on to their clients to foot the bill.
    Amaran
    Hyderabad

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Amaran,
      Or Indian companies can hire American workers in US so that they have less than 50% employees on H and L visas.

  19. Jack_Ma

    a bit confused? It will be a “visa application fee” ? “all” applicant have to pay this much or only H1 B receiver , those who will win the lottery?

    1. Y

      It has to to submitted to USCIS as the application fees by all but USCIS will only en cash the cheques of those applications which will be picked in the lottery.

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