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A Look At The High Fees Making Hiring H-1B Visa Holders Challenging

Hiring and retaining foreign-born scientists and engineers is expensive for employers in the United States. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services fee rule represents the latest federal action making it more costly to employ H-1B visa holders. Analysts say assertions about “cheap labor” ignore the significant fees employers pay and the law requiring employers to pay H-1B professionals as much as comparable U.S. workers. The registration process for the FY 2025 H-1B cap starts on March 6, 2024.

Higher Fees
On January 31, 2024, USCIS published a final rule that would raise many government fees. Employers will pay 70% more for beneficiaries on H-1B petitions, 201% more for employees on L-1 petitions and 129% more for individuals on O-1 petitions. USCIS will also enact a new $600 Asylum Program Fee when filing a Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, or Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker, and increase the H-1B Electronic Registration Fee for each beneficiary by 2,050%.

“We project our larger clients could see an increase of anywhere from 115% to 175% in filing fee costs in the first year of the new fee schedule,” according to Lynden Melmed of BAL. (The USCIS website contains a complete list of the new fees.)

H-1B Legal and Government Fees For Employers

Application Fee $780
H-1B Registration Fee $215
Asylum Fee $600 ($1200 for extension)
Attorney Fees $1,500 to $4,000
Attorney Fees if a Request for Evidence $2,000 to $4,500
Scholarship and Training Fee $1,500 ($750 for employers with 25 or fewer employees) (initial petition and extension)
Anti-Fraud Fee $500 (on initial petition)
Premium Processing (optional but generally necessary) $2,850
“50/50” Fee (for employers with workforce over 50% H-1B/L-1) $4,000 (on initial petition)
Visa Application (cost based on reciprocity) $190 ($0 - $800)
Additional Cost to Sponsor Employee for Permanent Residence $10,000 to $15,000 or more
TOTAL $4,535 to $17,885 for initial petition
  $7,165 to $33,365 for initial and extension
  Up to $50,000 (est.) for initial, extension and green card

Read More: Forbes

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