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New Fee for H-1Bs and L1s

August 19, 2010

USCIS today announced that they are implementing a new fee for H-1B and L-1 petitions that was mandated in the Border Protection bill (P.L. 111-230) that was signed by the President earlier this week.    According to USCIS:

Effective immediately, Public Law 111-230 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 Aug. 14, 2010, and will remain in effect through Sept. 30, 2014.  

These additional fees apply to petitioners who employ 50 or more employees in the United States with 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.  Petitioners meeting these criteria must submit the fee with an H-1B or L-1 petition filed:

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

In addition, USCIS stated 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," and that "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."

While the new fee should not apply to most employers, it appears that USCIS will require that employers either submit the new fee or submit documentation showing that they are not subject to the new fee.  Tafapolsky & Smith will be working with clients to prepare documentation that responds to the new USCIS requirements.

The full USCIS announcement is available online at

http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis/menuitem.5af9bb95919f35e66f614176543f6d1a/?vgnextoid=27eac9514bb8a210VgnVCM100000082ca60aRCRD&vgnextchannel=68439c7755cb9010VgnVCM10000045f3d6a1RCRD

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