FY 2017 H-1B Filing fees raised as per Consolidated Appropriations Act

The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2016 which was signed into law by President Barack Obama last week, requires companies having more than 50 per cent of employees that are on H1B or L1 Visa status and more than 50 employees overall to have to pay an additional $4,000 per H-1B visa application in addition to the standard fees it currently pays.

The original H-1B visa application fee is just $325.  Beginning March 2005, however,  another $500 was added as a Prevention and Detection Fee in an effort to minimize fraud. There was also added an Employer Sponsorship fee under which companies having 25 or more employees have to pay an additional $1,500 per visa application.  If the company has 24 or less employees, they pay half the amount, which is $750. This is meant to fund the training of US workers.  As per this newly signed law, companies having more than 50 employees and more than 50 per cent of employees that are on H1B or L1 Visa status would have to pay an additional $4,000 per H-1B visa application.  For all other companies, the government filing fees remain unchanged.

This is said to generally have the effect of increasing the costs of exporting foreign professional workers to be employed in consulting roles within the United States.  Consulting companies that are typically based overseas, many of which based out of India, are in the business of filling staffing shortages by contracting out their services to technology companies based in the Silicon Valley and other tech hubs in the United States. It is usually only these types of companies with more than 50% of its payrolled employees on H-1B or L-1 status and who also have 50 or more employees.

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