Many of you might be wondering regarding the H1B visa fee with questions like : how much does it really cost for sponsoring H1B? Who pays for what ? Should you pay for anything as employee? How much did your H1B actually cost for your employer for filing the H1B Visa. What is the current fee or if any new H1B visa fee changes for H1B Visa for FY 2021 season. Let’s review all the fees and their descriptions in this article.
Before we jump in to the complete H1B Visa fee, let’s quickly look at the fee changes for the upcoming H1B 2021 Season.
Are there any planned H1B fee changes for FY 2021 ?
Yes, there are two changes in fee for FY 2021 season .
- H1B Registration Fee : One of the biggest changes for FY 2021 season is introduction of the new registration system for lottery, before filing the actual petition with USCIS. As part of that change, USCIS will charge $10 USD fee per applicant for the registration process. You can read more at H1B Registration Rule – Updates, Fee.
- Premium Processing Fee change : The optional premium processing fee for H1B is going up from $1410 to $1440 USD. It is a $30 increase in the fee. This was effective from Dec 2nd, 2019. So, for FY 2021, this fee change will apply as well.
What is H1B Visa Filing Fee ? Complete Fee breakdown ?
H1B petition filing involves a set of fees that every employer has to pay. Not all of the fee types apply to every petition filed. It varies by the company size and the other factors as explained below. Below is the breakdown of the fee type, fee amount in USD and details of the fee.
H1B Visa Fee Type
Fee in USD
Details of H1B Fee Component
|H1B Registration Fee||$10||For H1B Registrations filed with USCIS to conduct lottery, before filing actual petition. Applicable only to new cap subject petitions. The fee is effective from Dec 8, 2019. It applies to FY 2021 quota.|
|Base filing fee||$460||For every petition ( went up in Dec 2016)|
(American Competitiveness and Workforce Improvement Act of 1998)
| $750 – for employers with 1 to 25 full time employees )|
$1500 – for employers with 26 or more full time equivalent employee )
|Fraud prevent & detection fee||$500||Only applies to New H1Bs and Change of employers petitions only. Does not apply to Chile and Singapore based H1B1 petitions|
|Fee based on Public Law 114-113||$4000||Applicable, if 50 or more employees and more than 50% of employees are on H1B or L1 Visa status, required for new H1B filing and change of employers.|
Read H1B fee increase $4000 rule to check if it applies to your case
|Premium processing fee (Optional)||$1,440||For faster adjudication within 15 calendar days. Until Dec 2nd, 2019, it is $1,410. The fee change of $30 will be effective from Dec 2, 2019)|
|Immigration Attorney Fee||Varies from $500 to $3000||This varies depending on the attorney. This fee applies to companies that work with third party immigration attorneys for filing the H1B Visa petitions. Some large organizations have in-house attorneys. If the employer does not have any in-house attorney, it would cost them anywhere from $500 to $3000.|
In summary, depending on the size of the company, the H1B filing fee can vary anywhere from $1,710 USD to $7,910 USD + the Attorney fee( if any). You may watch the below video for short info on this.
Who pays for H1B Visa Fee ? What H1B fees is paid by you vs Employer ?
Many of you would wonder, who would pay for the H1B petition. For the most part, it is an employer’s expense. You should NOT pay for it. Below is a brief summary
H1B Fee Type
Who Pays for it ? Why should they pay for it ?
|H1B Registration Fee||$10||To be paid by the employer. Only for first time cap subject petitions.|
|Base filing fee||$460||Employer or H1B Sponsor.|
It is employer’s business expense as they intend to hire a highly skilled individual and bring them on-board
|AICWA Fee||$750 or $1,500||Employer/ H1B Sponsor.|
It is employer’s business expense. Law requires that this fee is never passed to the employee being hired or any other third party
|Fraud prevent & detection fee||$500||Employer.|
It is employer’s business expense. Just like above, it is mandated by law and employee being hired should NOT pay for it.
|Fee based on Public Law 114-113||$4000||Employer.|
It is employer’s business expense. This is a law that was passed earlier in 2016 year under Omnibus bill.
|Attorney Fee||Varies||Employer. It is employer’s business expense.|
|Premium processing fee (Optional)||$1,410||Optional fee. Either employer or You ( Employee being hired).|
If you bear it, the employer has to demonstrate to DOL that it was expedited due to your personal reasons.
|Visa Stamping fee ( fee involved in getting H1B visa at US consulate )||varies by country||Employee’s expense. All the costs involved in obtaining visa, including cost involved in translation of your credentials, etc. It will NOT be an employer’s expense. The employer will only send you the documents required for visa stamping.|
To avoid confusion and protect the employee’s best interests, Department of labor(DOL) has a great tool that will help you verify. You can check out the article H1B Online advisory tool by DOL
If you are keen on previous fee changes from previous seasons, below are more details.
H1B Fee changes History
Below is the history on some of the key H1B fee changes in last few years.
- From October 1st, 2018, the Premium processing fee went up to $1,410 USD
- For FY 2017, there were changes to the filing fee, the H1B petition filing fee increased by $4000 USD for certain employers who fall under the below category and base filing fee went up in Dec 2016.
- All the companies that have 50 or more employees and 50% of their employees are non-immigrant workers need to pay an additional fee of $4000 USD. The fee increase is applicable for new petitions and transfers, but not applicable to extension petitions with the same employer. This fee is additional fee to the standard H1B fee that is applicable.
Did you pay any fee ? What was your experience working with your employer for H1B filing ?