On Aug 13 2010, President Obama signed Border Security Bill into law. Besides bunch of other things, this law increases the fees that need to be paid by certain H1/L1 petitioners.
Following President Obama’s signature, USCIS released details on the new fee structure:
– The new fees will be applicable on any H1 or L1 petition postmarked Aug 14 2010 or later. So if your petition was sent on Aug 14, then your employer is required to pay the increased fees (provided the employer satisfies certain conditions set for this, which I will explain below).
– The increased fees for H1 petitions is $2,000.00 and for L1-A, L1-B petitions is $2,250.00. This fees is in addition to the base processing fee, the existing Fraud Prevention and Detection Fee, and any applicable American Competitiveness and Workforce Improvement Act of 1998 fee, needed to file a petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker (Form I-129), as well as any premium processing fees, if applicable.
– The increased fees is applicable only to employers who
- have more than 50 employees
- have more than 50% of their US workforce on H1, L1-A, L1-B and L-2 i.e. even dependents of L1 who are working on EAD are counted towards that 50% threshold.
– The increased fees are applicable until Sep 30 2014 unless extended by law.
– The fee increase is applicable to first time filers and aliens who are changing employers. It is not applicable to H1 extensions filed w/ the same employer.
– USCIS will issue RFE if the correct fees is not paid (especially for petitions filed after Aug 14), and petitioners will be required to submit correct fees.
– USCIS is working on revised I-129 forms that would specifically ask if the petitioners qualifies for additional fees or not
For official communication from USCIS, refer the link below:
It is likely possible that some consulting companies may pass on this fees to their employees (especially the ones that charge fees from beneficiaries/aliens for filing H1). However, one should remember that by law, the petitioner is required to pay the fees, and demanding fees from beneficiary/alien is illegal and against the law. It is important to not forget this right of yours.