Wednesday, December 16, 2015

CONGRESS AGAIN RAISES USCIS FILING FEES FOR 50/50 EMPLOYERS

The H-1B and L-1 “50/50” filing fees are back and larger than ever.  Last night, the House Republican leadership posted the full text of the Consolidated Appropriations Bill of 2016.  The Act revives the additional H-1B and L-1  filing fees for “50/50 employers”.  A “50/50 employer is one has more than 50 employees , where more than 50 percent of the employees hold H-1B or L-1 status.  Upon the forthcoming enactment of this new Act, the new combined filing and fraud fees for 50/50 employers will be H-1B: $4,000 and L-1: $4,500.  This fee will apply to all H-1Bs and L-1s, even if it is an extension of status.  

ILW has a nice table of other immigration provisions that are included in the Act, such as H-2, Physicians, E-Verify, R-1, EB-5, and Visa Waivers.  Most of these are routine extensions of existing programs that had recently ended.

In 2010, Congress passed the original “50/50” increased filing fee rule.  PL 111-230 raised H-1B and L-1 filing fees for employers who have over 50 employees with more than 50% of these employees in H-1B or L-1 status.  H-1B petitions were assessed an additional $2,000 in filing fees.  L-1 petitioners were assessed $2,250 in additional filing fees.  PL 111-230 was originally to end in 2014, but was re-authorized until September 30, 2015.  It did sunset on September 30, 2015.  For the last three months, there has been no increased filing fee for 50/50 employers.

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