h1b visa filing fees usics small large employer transfer applications premium processing

OMG! H1B Visa Filing Fees Can Vary From $3,000 to $10,000

Do you want to know the H1B Visa Filing Fees?

There’re various fees that USCIS requires as part of the H1B Visa application.

Let’s start with two examples.

Example H1B Visa Filing Fees

In our example, let us compare the H1B Visa Filing fee and Attorney fee for two different sized employers.

An employer with Less than 25 Employees

A Small Compay with less than 25 employers without Premium Processing for first time H1B Visa application or H1B Visa transfer

  • Base H1B filing fee – $460
  • H1B ACWIA fee – $750
  • Fraud Prevention and Detection fee – $500
  • Public Law 111-113 Fee – $0
  • Premium Processing fee – $0
  • Attorney Fees – $1500
  • Total – $3,210

An Employer with 95 Employees

And this company has less than 70 of their current workers on H1B Visa, applying for H1B Visa for a first time applicant or for H1B Visa transfer from a different employer.

  • Base H1B filing fee – $460
  • H1B ACWIA fee – $1500
  • Fraud Prevention and Detection fee – $500
  • Public Law 111-113: $4000
  • Premium Processing fee – $1410
  • Attorney Fees – $1500
  • Total – $9,370

As you can see the fees can add up depending on the size of the employer.

So, are there ways to lower the H1B Visa filing fees?

Let’s take a deep dive into the H1B Visa fees and then look for ways to lower the fees.

H1B Visa Filing Fees

h1b visa filing fees uscis

 

Above H1B Visa Filing fee is updated on March 2019.

There are different fees depending on the type of H-1B petition

  • New H1B Visa Petition
  • H1B Visa Change of Employer
  • Extension of Status with the Same Employer
  • Number of Employee in the company

The following are required for H1B Visa petition:

  • H1B Visa Fees for USCIS
    • Base H1B filing fee
    • H1B ACWIA fee
    • Fraud Prevention and Detection fee
    • Public Law 111-113 Fee
    • Premium Processing fee
  • Attorney Fees

Base H1B filing fee:

  • $460 (previously $325)

H1B ACWIA fee

Here is the ACWIA Fee.

  • $750 for employers with 1 to 25 full-time equivalent employees, unless exempt
  • $1,500 for employers with 26 or more full-time equivalent employees, unless exempt

Not every H1b Visa petition requires this ACIWA Fee. See the table below.

ACWIA H1B Visa Fee H and L Filing Fees for Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker | USCIS

And there are exceptions for Cap-Exempt H1B Visa Employers and others as listed here.

Fraud Prevention and Detection fee

  • $500 to be submitted with the initial H-1B petition filed on behalf of each beneficiary by a petitioner (does not apply to Chile/Singapore H-1B1 petitions)

h1b visa fees fraud prevention detection fee uscis

Public Law 111-230:

This is now replaced with Public Law 111-113 (see below)

  • $2,000 Additional fees for employers with
  • 50+ employees and more than half of those employees are in H1B or L1
  • This fee applies for New H1B, extension or transfer.

Public Law 114-113:

  • $4,000
  • Fees should be submitted in a separate check or money order
  • Signed into law Dec. 18, 2015, and is valid until Sept. 30, 2027.
  • The fee is applicable for petitions filed on or after Dec. 18, 2015

h1b visa fe public law 111-113 uscis

H1B Visa Premium Processing fee

USCIS has suspended Premium Processing in the past years.

Premium Processing Fee

  • $1410 (previously $1,225) From Oct 1, 2018
  • $1,225 (previously $1,000)

H1B Visa USCIS Premium Processing Fee

Checks: Make checks payable to the Department of Homeland Security or U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, dated within the last 6-months, and include the proper guarantee amount and signature.

Money Orders: Money Orders must be properly endorsed.

Incorrect- Check or Other Forms of Payment

While petitioners are provided the opportunity to correct a fee deficiency, pursuant to the regulations, the filing date is not established until and unless the fee deficiency has been corrected.  H-1B cap-subject petitions with non-payable fees will be given a new filing date the day the fee deficiency has been corrected, as long as the cap has not been met.  If the new filing date is after the cap has been reached, the petition will be rejected.

Some Immigration attorney’s charge up to $2500 as their Fees. That will add to H1B filing fees.

If in case you are applying for H1B Visa via a consulting company and the consultant want you to pay the fees, now you know how much it could cost the employer actually to file an H1B Visa application to USCIS.

How to Lower the H1B Visa Filing Fees?

There is only one way I can think of.

A typical Immigration Attorney would charge $750 to apply for H4 Visa application.

For a family of 4, with 3 dependents, the H4 Fees for Attorney would be $2,250.

Then add the I-539 Filing Fees and Biometrics Fee on top of it.

And that fee would be paid by the employer to the Immigration Attorney.

One approach taken by Employer to save money is by not applying for H4 Visa and Change of Status along with H1B Visa lottery petition.

Once the Primary applicants H1B Visa is picked in the lottery, they would apply for Change of Status and pay the attorney fee.

There is risk involved with this depending on the expiry of current legal status, for instance, if you were to be on Cap-Gap.

Talk to your employer and know the risks!

There are other exemptions from H1B Visa Fees if employer falls in one of the following categories.

h1b visa filing fees exceptions

 

If you are outside the above option, then I’m sorry, you are out of luck.

By the way, H1B Visa fees are to be paid by the Employer.

Some employer would ask the Employee to pay for Premium Processing and even H4 Visa Fees.

I’m not sure about the legality of such instances.

If your employer is asking you to pay other H1B Visa fees, then you are violating the immigration law.

Applying for H1B Visa On April 2019 for FY 2020?

  1. H1B Visa 2020 Lottery Probability and Approval Chances
  2. H1B Visa 2020 Cap Count for Regular & Advanced Degree Applications
  3. H1B Visa 2020 Premium Processing Available in Two Phases

2 Comments

  1. Lapin on December 1, 2012 at 6:33 AM

    Unless your being a given a cost-plus rate in which you are being charged the cost of the card the iso pays plus their pfoirt. So usually your quoted something like 0.39% and on your say like a debit card which the fees are around .70 basis points you add the pfoirt and your rate on debit is around 1.19%.

  2. Manash Chowdhury on October 19, 2011 at 11:52 AM

    Hi,

    My employer filed a H-1B in July, and got a RFE. The RFE could not be met and finally the petition was withdrawn.
    As earlier communicated by the Visa Team of my employer that processing the H-1B on premium mode would cost around $6000. So I would like to know was that amount paid entirely during the filing? And since now the petition is withdrawn will that amount be returned or not?

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