The Base Fees For The H-1B And L-1 Visa Is Increasing
A proposal on visa fee increase is expected to hike the cost of an H-1B visa by 22% and that of the L-1 visa by as much as 77%.
The USCIS submitted the proposal to the White House Office of Immigration and Regulatory Affairs. Although the timelines of the fee hike are unclear. The USCIS is currently facing a funding crisis on account of a sharp drop in visa fee income. USCIS may have to furlough approximately 18,700 employees if its demand for $1.2 billion in government funding is not met by July.
The proposal to hike fees was first put forth in November 2019, and it recommends different fees for Form I-129, depending on the visa category. This will result in the base fee for the H-1B visa increasing by 22% to $560 and for the L-1 intra-company transfer visa by 77% to $815.
Further, it targets what are known as 50-50 companies, or companies that have over 50 employees of which 50% or more are on nonimmigrant visas like the H-1B or L-1.
It proposes an additional fee of $4,000 for every visa extension petition from these companies that will up the visa costs for most Indian services companies operating in the US. Nasscom had said that the move to increase fees was illegal since only the US Congress had the authority to do so.