Fee Increase for Certain H-1B & L-1 Petitions: What You Need to Know

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USCIS has recently created a webpage for understanding the fee increase for certain H-1B and L-1 petitions. You can visit that page here.

Public Law 114-113 requires certain petitioners to pay an additional fee of $4,000 for certain H-1B petitions and to pay an additional fee of $4,500 for certain L-1A and L-1B petitions. Signed into law on December 18, 2015, the new fee applies to petitions filed on or after December 18, 2015. The fee is in effect until September 30, 2025.

For H-1B petitioners

When you must pay the additional fee

  • You must pay the additional $4,000 fee if all of the following apply to you:
    1. You employ 50 or more employees in the U.S.;
    2. More than half of your employees in the U.S. are in H-1B, L-1A or L-1B nonimmigrant status;
    3. You filed your H-1B petition with a postmark date of December 18, 2015 or later (or if you sent it by courier services, the courier picked up your H-1B packet on December 18, 2015 or later); and
    4. You filed an H-1B petition to:
      • Seek initial H-1B nonimmigrant status for a foreign national; or
      • Obtain authorization for an H-1B worker to change employers.
  • You do NOT need to pay the additional fee for:
    • H-1B extension requests filed by the same petitioner for the same employee;
    • H-1B amended petitions; or
    • Petitions based on other employment-based visa categories (such as H-1B1, H-2A, H-2B, etc.).

How to fill out Form I-129

USCIS is currently in the process of revising the form. Until the revised version is published, H-1B petitioners should continue to complete item numbers 1.d and 1.d.1 of section 1 of the H-1B and H-1B1 data collection and filing fee exemption supplement. USCIS will reject or deny any petition if this part of the form is not completed or if the fee is not included when required.

Paying the additional fee

If you are required to pay the PL 114-113 fee, you should include the additional $4,000 fee in a separate check made payable to the Department of Homeland Security.

For L-1 petitioners

When you must pay the additional fee

  • You must pay the additional $4,500 fee if all of the following apply to you:
    1. You employ 50 or more employees in the U.S.;
    2. More than half of your employees in the U.S. are in H-1B, L-1A, or L-1B nonimmigrant status (L-2 employees are not included in this amount);
    3. You filed your L-1 petition with a postmark date of December 18, 2015 or later (or if you sent it by courier services, the courier picked up your packet on December 18, 2015 or later); and
    4. You filed an L-1 petition to:
      • Seek initial L-1A or L-1B nonimmigrant status for a foreign national; or
      • Obtain authorization for an L-1A or L-1B worker to change employers.
  • You do NOT need to pay the additional fee for:
    • L-1A or L-1B extension requests filed by the same petitioner for the same employee;
    • L-1A or L-1B amended petitions; or
    • Petitions based on other employment based visa categories (such as H-1B1, H-2A, H-2B, etc.)

How to fill out Form I-129

USCIS is currently in the process of revising Form I-129 and Form I-129S. Until a revised form is published, L-1 petitioners should continue to complete numbers 4.a and 4.b of the L classification supplement (page 22). USCIS will reject or deny any petition with this section not completed or the fee not included when required.

Paying the additional fee

If you are required to pay the PL 114-113 fee, you should include the additional $4,500 fee in a separate check made payable to the Department of Homeland Security.

How USCIS Determines If You Must Pay the PL 114-113 Fee for H-1B and L-1 Petitions

USCIS will count all of your full-time and part-time employees when determining whether you must pay this fee. Employees of related entities will not count.

When calculating the percentage of employees in H-1B or L-1 status, USCIS will calculate based on the number of employees you have in the U.S., regardless of whether they are paid through U.S. or foreign payroll.

If you are petitioning for foreign nationals in H-1B or L-1 status and have questions on the new fees, please contact our office to schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys today!

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