The H-1B Visa petition program
H-1B’s and a Holiday Greeting!
Question: I have heard that there are some new H-1B laws that have come out. Can you discuss what these changes are?
Answer: Changes in Certain USCIS Fees as a result of the approval of the FY05 Omnibus Appropriations Act The H-1B and L non-immigrant provisions of the Omnibus appropriations Act reinstate the American Competitiveness and Workforce Improvement Act (ACWIA) fees first put in place after the approval of the ACWIA in 1998. The requirements under the original ACWIA sunset on October 1, 2003. This was where the employer had to pay $1,000 fee for every H-1B petition filed.
For H-1B petitioners, the new fee for petitioners who employ 25 or more Full Time Equivalent employees is $1,500. Petitioners who employ no more than 25 Full Time Equivalent employees (including any affiliate or subsidiary) may submit a reduced fee of $750. The new $1,500 and $750 fees apply to any non-exempt petitions filed with USCIS after December 8, 2004. Certain types of petitions that were previously exempt from the fees remain exempt from the new $1,500 and $750 fees.
Question: I heard there was some type of fraud fee as well. Is that true?
Answer: Yes. The Act creates a new Fraud Prevention and Detection Fee of $500 which must be paid by petitioners seeking a beneficiary’s initial grant of H-1B or L nonimmigrant classification or those petitioners seeking to change a beneficiary’s employer within those classifications. The only petitions exempt from paying this fee are those that seek to amend or extend the stay of the beneficiary. This new $500 fee applies to petitions filed with the USCIS on or after March 8, 2005.
Each of these fees is in addition to the base processing fee of $185 to file a Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker (Form I-129) and any premium processing fees, if applicable.
Question: Are there any more H-1B’s available?
Answer: Yes. For persons with a Masters degree or higher, there is now an additional 20,000 H-1B visas.
I would personally like to extend my wishes to all the readers and their families for a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year and a Happy Holiday Season.
As an immigration attorney, I do see families of immigrants being torn apart because of unfair and ruthless immigration laws. I will continue to fight for all of the immigrants and their families so that they can be reunited and together once more.