Large increases in government filing fees for some H-1B and L-1 petitions

News Release from Jewell & Associates, PC – August 24, 2010 To make emergency supplemental appropriations for border security, Public Law 111-230 was passed by Congress and it was signed into law by President Obama on August 13, 2010.  One provision of the new law, effective immediately, adds large supplemental filing fees to certain H-1B and L-1 petition filings.  USCIS clarified in a recent announcement that it will require the supplemental fee for petitions postmarked on or after August 14, 2010.  The supplemental fees will remain in effect through September 30, 2014.

The supplemental fees apply only to petitioning organizations with fifty or more employees in the United States, if more than 50% of those employees are in H-1B or L status (including L-2 spouses working on Employment Authorization Documents, or EADs), and if the petition is for new employment (not extensions involving an existing employment relationship).   The supplemental fee for L-1 petitions is $2,250.00, and the supplemental fee for H-1B petitions is $2,000.00.  These supplemental fees are in addition to the government fees, ranging from $820 to $3,320, that already must accompany H-1B or L-1 petitions for new employment.  USCIS recommends a separate check for the new supplemental fee. 

USCIS is revising the petition form (Form I-129) and the related instructions to include a place for employers to attest to the number of employees in the U.S. and the percentage who are in H-1B or L status.  In the meantime, USCIS will examine pending H-1B and L-1 petitions individually and will issue Requests for Evidence (RFEs) in cases where USCIS is unable to determine whether the new fees apply.

We are awaiting guidance from the Department of State on fee collections for Blanket L applicants at U.S. Consulates abroad, as well as guidance from Customs & Border Protection on L-1 petitions submitted at U.S. ports of entry for Canadian citizens. 

© Jewell & Associates, PC 2010