On December 18, 2015, President Obama signed The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016 (Public Law 114-113) into law, which increased fees for certain H-1B and L-1 petitioners. This law effectively reinstates PL 111-230, which sunset on Sept. 30, 2014, but increases the applicable fees. According to the new law, H-1B visa petitioners who employ 50 or more employees in the United States, where more than 50 percent of those employees are in H-1B or L (including L-1A and L-1B) nonimmigrant status, must pay an additional fee of $4,000 for the first H-1B petition it files for an employee and $4,500 for the first L-1A and L-1B petition it files. These new fees apply to all filings postmarked on or after December 18, 2015.
The fee only apply to certain H-1B and L-1/B Petitions, as follows:
- Initially to grant status to a nonimmigrant described in subparagraph (H)(i)(b) or (L) of section 101(a)(15) of the Immigration and Nationality Act; or
- To obtain authorization for a nonimmigrant in such status to change employers.
This fee DOES NOT apply to extension requests filed by the same petitioner for the same employee.
This fee is in addition to the form filing fee fee, Fraud Prevention and Detection Fee, American Competitiveness and Workforce Improvement Act of 1998 fee (when required), and the Premium Processing fee, if elected.
On January 13, 2015, USCIS sent out the web alert notifying the stakeholder that USCIS was “in the process of revising Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, and Form I-129S, Nonimmigrant Petition Based on Blanket L Petition, to reflect the provisions of Public Law 114-113. 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 (Page 19 of Form I-129) and Item Numbers 4.a. and 4.b. of the L Classification Supplement (Page 22 of Form I-129).”
Petitioners and the attorneys should be on alert that USCIS may begin rejecting petitions received on or after Feb. 11, 2016 that do not 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 and Item Numbers 4.a. and 4.b. of the L Classification Supplement, or include the additional Public Law 114-113 fee, if applicable. The additional fee required under PL 114-113 will remain in effect until September 30, 2025.