H1B Visa is one of the most sought visas for high skilled workers to work in America. Depending on the size and status of the company, the H1B visa filing fee could vary a lot. Also, it is important to understand who pays for what fee during the H1B visa process. In this article, we cover all the details related to H1B Visa cost, application fee, including who pays for what portion of it. Also, we track the latest news related to H1B Visa fee changes, including H1B Visa FY 2022 season
Applying for H1B Visa for an employee involves a lot of cost like application fee, attorney fee, visa stamping fee. Even each of these have different components. Let’s look at all of these.
What is H1B Visa Filing Cost ? Application Fee ?
H1B Visa filing with USCIS involves a set of fees that every employer has to pay. Not all of the fee components apply to all employers, they vary by 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
Fee in USD
What is the Fee for ?
|H1B Registration Fee||$10||It is for H1B Registration filing before filing actual petition. Applicable only to new H1B filings. It was introduced from FY 2021 season|
|Base filing fee||$460||This is the I-129 Form Application Fee|
|This is a fee as per the American Competitiveness and Workforce Improvement Act(ACWIA) of 1998. $750 for employers with 1 to 25 full-time employees and $1500 for employers with 26 or more full-time equivalent employees|
|Fraud prevent & detection fee||$500||Only applies to New cap subject filings and H1B Transfers with Change of employer. 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)||$2,500||For faster adjudication within 15 calendar days. Until Oct 19th, 2020, it was $1,440. The fee changed to $2,500 based on congress bill. Check USCIS news|
|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 cost can vary anywhere from $1,710 USD to $7,910 USD + the Attorney fee( if any). You may watch the H1B Visa fee YouTube video.
Who pays for H1B Visa Fee ? Do you Pay or Employer ?
Many of you would wonder, who would pay for the H1B petition. For the most part, it is an employer’s ( H1B Sponsor) expense. You as an H1B employee or the beneficiary should NOT pay for it. Below are the details on who pays for what fee.
H1B Fee Type
Who Pays for it? Why Pay ?
|H1B Registration Fee||$10||To be paid by the employer/ H1B sponsoring company. |
Only for first time cap subject petitions.
|Base filing fee||$460||To be paid by the employer/ H1B sponsoring company|
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||To be paid by the employer/ H1B sponsoring company|
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||To be paid by the employer/ H1B sponsoring company|
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||To be paid by the employer/ H1B sponsoring company|
It is employer’s business expense. This is a law that was passed earlier in 2016 year under Omnibus bill.
|Attorney Fee||Varies||To be paid by the employer/ H1B sponsoring company. It is employer’s business expense.|
|Premium processing fee (Optional)||$2,500||Optional fee. |
Either employer or You ( Employee being hired or H1B beneficiary).
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||This is an optional expense for employers. Many employers pay for the visa stamping fee. But it depends on employer. |
As per law, all the costs involved in obtaining a visa at consulate, including cost involved in translation of your credentials, etc. are H1B applicant’s expenses. It will NOT be an employer’s expense. The employer would 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
Latest News Updates on H1B Fee Changes
- August 2021 : As of August 2021, there are no fee change since the last update of H1B premium processing fee from Oct 2020.
- October 2020: The Premium Processing fee increased to $2,500 USD for H1B program based on a bill passed in Congress. Check USCIS Premium Processing Fee Changes, New Options for EAD
- July 2020 : USCIS announced the changes to various fees in July 2020. There was an overall average increase of 20% fee increase. This fee change include H1B visa base filing fee too. It is set to be effective from October 2nd, 2020. Check USCIS Fee increase H1B Fee – Oct 2020
- March 2020 : There were two fee changes 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.
- October 2018 : From October 1st, 2018, the Premium processing fee went up to $1,410 USD
- FY 2017 Fee Changes : 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.
No, it is not legal to pay the H1B fee as an applicant. It is employer’s business expense and they need pay for all the expenses related to H1B visa Petition filing.
This is a subjective thing and discretionary expense. Depending on the circumstances the employee may pay this fee. But, the employee has to justify this to US Dept of Labor, if asked that it was due to personal situation.
No, it is not legal to pay for the H1B Visa filing process by the applicant. It is employer’s expense to file and pay for everything. Anything like the payback agreement is not legal.
For official documentation, you can check USCIS.gov H and L Filing Fee page for up to date information
Did you pay any fee? What was your experience working with your employer for H1B filing ?