USCIS Implements H-1B and L-1 Fee Increase


by Abbey Moland

Moland, Abigail
amoland@mcgrathnorth.com
(402) 341-3070

On August 13, 2010, President Obama signed into law Public Law 111-230, effective immediately, which contains provisions to increase certain H-1B and L-1 petition fees. Specifically, the law requires the submission of an additional fee of $2,000 for certain H-1B petitions and $2,250 for certain L-1A and L-1B petitions postmarked on or after August 14, 2010. The additional fees only apply to petitioners who employ 50 or more employees in the United States who also have more than 50 percent of its employees in the United States in H-1B or L (including L-1A, L-1B and L-2) nonimmigrant status. The 50 percent figure is based upon the total number of  U.S. employees in H-1B and L status, combined. Petitioners meeting these criteria must submit the fee with an H-1B or L-1 petition filed:

  • Initially to grant H-1B or L status OR
  • To obtain authorization for an employee having such status to change employers.

The additional fees do not apply to H-1B or L extension requests. Employers should be aware that the USCIS is in the process of revising the Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker (Form I-129), and instructions to comply with Public Law 111-230. To facilitate implementation of Public Law 111-230, USCIS is requiring that all H-1B, L-1A and L-1B petitioners, as part of the filing packet, include the new fee or a statement of other evidence outlining why this new fee does not apply. USCIS requests that petitioners include a notation of whether the fee is required in bold capital letters at the top of the cover letter. Where USCIS does not receive such explanation and/or documentation with the initial filing, it may issue a Request for Evidence (RFE) to determine whether the petition is covered by the public law. An RFE may be required even if such evidence is submitted, if questions remain. The additional fee, if applicable, 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 (ACWIA) fee, needed to file a petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker (Form I-129), as well as any premium processing fees, if selected.

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