Silicon Valley Employers To Pay Even Higher H-1B and L-1 Fees

A new law raises immigration filing fees, to the point that an employer wanting to petition a foreign national for an H-1B could pay as high as $5320 just in USCIS fees, while an employer wanting to petition for an L-1 could pay as high as $4070 in USCIS fees.

The new fees apply if all of the following criteria are met:

If an employer

  1. employs at least 50 employees in the U.S. , and

  2. if at least 50% of those employees are in H-1B, L-1A, L-1B, or L-2 status, and

  3. it is the first H-1b or L-1 petition submitted by that employer, for that employee.

Employers who meet this criteria will have to pay an extra $2000 per H-1B petition, and an extra $2250 per L-1 petition. This is in addition to the base petition fee ($320), the anti-fraud fraud fee ($500), and for H-1B employers the ACWIA fee of either $750.00 for employers with fewer than 25 employees, or $1500 for employers with 25 or more employees. Then employers can choose to pay an extra $1000 fee for premium processing service, providing for the USCIS to adjudicate the petition (or at least act upon it) within 15 days of filing.

This latest filing fee increase was part of a new law (Public Law No. 111-230) providing for emergency supplemental appropriations for border security. The new law provides more money for border security personnel and infrastructure along our Southwest border. But picking on U.S. employers and multi-national companies with U.S. offices as a source for border security funding is ultimately a mistake that will just leave us with a weaker border. At some point it is no longer cost-effective for employers to pay up to $5320 per employee for a temporary job. So employers will not use the program, or simply cut back on hiring to avoid reaching the 50% threshold. Or worse, employers will just increase their outsourcing of these jobs. The result is less hiring in the U.S., and ultimately less revenue to fund border security.

H-1B Visas, Work Visas / by Michelle Gee