USA and the UK
Who is Responsible for Paying the H1B Fees?
It is important to ensure that all fees associated with a H1B application are paid promptly and correctly. Some of the costs must be covered by the employer or sponsoring company, while other fees will need to be paid by the person travelling to work in the United States. All fees must be paid before any H1B application deadline expires.
It is advisable to seek the advice of an immigration attorney to ensure that you have submitted the correct fees otherwise you could risk your application being delayed or even rejected by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). If your H1B application is refused then any fees paid are not refundable.
What are the H1B Costs for Employers?
The employer who will provide employment and file the initial H1B petition will need to pay a number of fees to cover the processing of their employee’s visa.
Currently, the charges for employers are:
- Registration fee – $10
- Basic visa filing fees (I-129 form) – $460
- Public Law 114-113 – $4000
- USCIS Anti-Fraud fee – $500
- ACWIA Education and Training fee – $750 if fewer than 25 employees or $1500 if more than 25 employees
In addition, there is the option to pay a optional premium processing fee to fast track the application to reduce the timescale of a decision being made. The current cost of this option is $2,500 and this can be paid by the employer or employee. This additional fee only speeds up the process of the visa application – it does not guarantee approval.
What are the H1B costs for employees?
The majority of fees are required to be paid by the employer during the H1B application process. However, an employee is required to cover the cost related to obtaining their visa at their local embassy or consulate. They also required to pay any visa fees related to any dependents that are travelling to the US with them.
The H1B premium processing fee can also be paid by the employee – this additional optional cost can help to speed up the processing of a H 1B application to between one to 15 days.
How much is a H1B Visa extension?
When a H1B Visa is extended then there are additional H1B extension fees that need to be paid. H-1B extension fees include the filing fee for another I-129 petition and the optional premium processing fee. However, the Public Law and Anti-fraud fees to not need to be paid again. The ACWIA fee has to be paid for the first extension through the same employer but not on subsequent extensions.
Details of H1B Costs
The Electronic Registration Fee – this is paid per petition during the H1B visa lottery registration period that opens in March each year.
Basic Filing Fee – this needs to paid when a H1B petition is made using the I-129 form.
ACWIA Fee – The American Competitiveness and Workforce Improvement Act of 1998 (ACWIA) fee amount is dependent on the size of the employer/sponsoring company. For companies that have less than 25 workers the fee is reduced, where as any business/organization that employers more than 25 will have to pay a higher charge.
It is legally required that the ACWIA fee is paid by the employer not the employee. However, some organizations are exempt from paying the additional fee including:
- Higher education institutions
- Non-profit entity related to or affiliated with higher education institution
- Non-profit research organisation
- Governmental research organisation
- Primary educational institution
- Secondary educational institution
- Non-profit entity engaging in curriculum-related clinical training programmes
Fraud Prevention And Detection Fee – this must by paid by the employer expect if the H1B petition is for a employee who qualifies under the Chile or Singapore Free Trade Agreement – in this case there is no fee to pay.
Fee Relating To Public Law 114-113 – this will only need to paid by companies who have more than 50 workers and where at least 50 per cent are employed via H1B or L1 visa routes.
Last modified on June 17th, 2023 at 8:05 am
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The time taken to process a H1B application varies considerably as it can depend on a range of factors including demand, where you are based and what role you wish to do in the US.
The average time taken to approve a H1B Visa can vary between 3 and 12 months. It is possible to pay a premium processing fee to fast track the application so a decision can be made within 15 days.
In some cases, the US immigration services may need additional information to proceed with your H1B Visa application and may issue a RFE (Request for Information).
You have 90 days to response to this and provide any information they have requested. It is important to deal with the RFE promptly otherwise you could face delays to your application or possible rejection.
It is possible to bring some dependents to the US if you have a valid H1B visa. You will need to apply for a H4 visa for your spouse or unmarried children under the 21 and they will only be able to live in the US for the time your H1B is valid.
Yes, it is possible to travel and re-enter the US of a H1B Visa. However, you should ensure you always have your supporting documents so that you can proof your immigration status when arriving and leaving the country.
The H1B is a dual-intent visa so it is possible to be eligible for a green card – but only after the visa has been held for the maximum period of six years.
Most qualifying H1B Visa holders will apply for a Green Card via employment routes in a number of categories including EB1, EB2, EB3.
The H1B lottery is used by USCIS to randomly select the number of applicants needed to meet the annual cap.
For an H1B visa, the 12-month cap is 65,000 for professionals with a Bachelor’s degree and above. And another 20,000 for applicants who hold at least a Master’s degree from a US institution.
USCIS are not able to issue more than 85,000 H1B Visas per year and, as the H1B Visa is a very competitive route, the US immigration services will receive in excess of this number.
The process of being granted a H1B visa can be lengthy and is very competitive due to the annual cap on numbers.
However, there may be an alternative visa route that could help provide a route to living and working in the US. These include the L1 Intercompany Transferee Visa, E1, E2 and E3 work visas.
You should seek advice from immigration specialists on which route is the most appropriate for your circumstances. Applying for and being rejected for a visa can impact your long-term immigration status.
Here at IAS, our team of immigration lawyers has already helped several companies and individuals get their H1B Visa. We can offer you a premium service, completely tailored to your needs.
Our services include:
- Liaising with you and your sponsor
- Completing your I-129 Petition
- Confirming that you have adequate competence consistent with the one requested by your role in the United States
- Helping with Request for Evidence
Use our online inquiry form or contact us today at +1 844 290 6312. We are here to help!