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10-8-12 - New H 1 B Visa Petition Fees

Because of recent precedent decisions, and changes in enforcement policies, it has been determined that the most conservative approach for employers is to consistently pay all filing and legal fees associated with H 1 B visa petitions, unless the fees are elected by the foreign national or related to his or her dependents.

Department of Labor regulations require an H 1 B employer to pay at least the prevailing wage in the occupation or the actual wage, whichever is higher. Recent case law and enforcement measures confirm that if the foreign national pays the attorney's fees or filing fees, the Department of Labor will see that as an unauthorized deduction from the required wage and a violation of the Labor Condition Application (LCA).

Effective immediately, the following fee schedule will apply for H 1 B visa petition filings:

Fee to file an H 1 B petition (Required every time an H 1 B is filed): $325 form filing fee ‑ this will be a new responsibility for the department

Fraud and Detection Fee (currently paid by the hiring department seeking a beneficiary's initial grant of an H 1 B or those seeking to change a beneficiary's employer within an H 1 B classification): $500 filing fee ‑ the department is currently paying this fee and there is no change

Premium Processing Fee: (only required if the petition is being expedited): $1,225 form filing fee ‑ paid by the department unless the fees are necessitated for personal reasons of the employee (i.e., travel not required for the job). Expedited processing as a business necessity such as meeting start dates will now be a new responsibility for the department.

Fee to file an H 4 petition: $290 form filing fee ‑ these dependent related fees are the sole responsibility of the foreign national.

This communication only applies to H 1 B visa petitions. Fees associated with permanent residence petitions remain the same unless otherwise notified. If you have any questions about the new requirements, please contact your HRM Generalist.

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