Visas - H-1b, L-1, E, O, TN

Updates to Increases in H-1B and L-1 Petition Fees

The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016 (Public Law 114-113) was signed into law on December 18, 2015 and increased the fee for certain H-1B and L-1 petitioners. USCIS issued a web alert today that the additional fee now applies when a petitioner employs 50 or more individuals in the United States, with more than 50% of those employees currently in H-1B or L (including L-1A and L-1B) nonimmigrant status.
The additional fee must be included (1) with new petitions seeking H or L status or (2) when the petitioner seeks to have the nonimmigrant in H or L status change employers.

This is a departure from what the previously published regulations on the topic indicated, which also required the additional fee for extensions of H or L status. As things stand today, these are the only types of petitions that requires the additional fee but based on the back and forth that has surrounded this rule’s roll out, we will not know for sure until USCIS revises its instructions for the Form I-129.

Government Agency Actions - USCIS, ICE, etc. Visas - H-1b, L-1, E, O, TN

Technical amendments make new H-1b filing fees applicable to US employers

The original Omnibus bill passed by Congress last week made additional H-1b filing fees only applicable to large foreign entities that employ > 50% of its workforce on L visas however, technical amendments were made to the final language and the additional filing fees now apply to US employers that have more than 50% of their workforce made up of H-1b or L-1 workers. The new language is below:
‘‘(b) TEMPORARY H-1B VISA FEE INCREASE.—Notwithstanding
section 281 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1351)
or any other provision of law, during the period beginning on
the date of the enactment of this section and ending on September
30, 2025, the combined filing fee and fraud prevention and detection
fee required to be submitted with an application for admission
as a nonimmigrant under section 101(a)(15)(H)(i)(b) of the Immigration
and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(15)(H)(i)(b)), including
an application for an extension of such status, shall be increased
by $4,000 for applicants that employ 50 or more employees in
the United States if more than 50 percent of the applicant’s
employees are such nonimmigrants or nonimmigrants described
in section 101(a)(15)(L) of such Act.

The new fees go into effect immediately and apply to initial filings and extensions.