Mark A Ivener, A Law Corporation

USCIS Implements H-1B, L-1 Fee Increases

On August 13, 2010, President Barack Obama signed into law provisions to increase certain H-1B and L-1 petition fees. Effective immediately, the provisions require 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 increases will remain in effect through September 30, 2014.

The additional fees apply to petitioners who employ 50 or more employees in the U.S. with more than 50 percent of their employees in the U.S. in H-1B or L (including L-1A, L-1B and L-2) nonimmigrant status. Petitioners meeting these criteria must submit the fee with an H-1B or L-1 petition filed:

• initially to grant a worker nonimmigrant status described in subparagraph (H)(i)(b) or (L) of section 101(a)(15), or
• To obtain authorization for a worker having such status to change employers.

USCIS is revising the Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker (Form I-129) and instructions to comply with the new law (Public Law 111-230). To facilitate implementation, USCIS recommends 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 the new fee does not apply. USCIS requests that petitioners state whether the fee is required in bold capital letters at the top of the cover letter. If 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 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 applicable.

Source: USCIS

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Mark A. Ivener, A Law Corporation, a nationally recognized law firm, has successfully assisted hundreds of clients in immigration matters.