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H-1B Filing Fees // The Straight Dope

January 31st, 2008 14 comments

Ask three different people about H-1B filing fees and you will get three different answers. Here are the straight facts about the fees required when applying for an H-1B visa petition.

“Premium Processing adds dignity to what can otherwise be a vulgar brawl.”

Base Filing Fee

The standard H-1B filing fee is $320 for the 1-129 petition. This fee is also payable for renewals, transfers, and amendments. Almost everyone has to pay this. There can also be additional fees at the consulate when applying from abroad.

ACWIA (Training) Fee

The employer must pay a fee of $1,500 towards a training fee meant to fund the training of U.S. workers. But if the employer has less than 25 full-time employees, they must pay only one-half of the required fee which is $750 [see Section §214(c)(9) of the Immigration & Nationality Act].

The training fee is paid one time to initially grant the H-1B petition and to extend H-1B status. But if this is the second or subsequent extension with the same employer, then the training fee is not required.

The following are exempt from the training fee: primary or secondary educational institutions, institutions of higher education, nonprofit organizations related to or affiliated with any institutions of higher education, a nonprofit organization that engages in established curriculum-related clinical training of students registered at any institutions of higher education, nonprofit research organizations or a governmental research organizations [see Section 214(c)(9)(A) of the Immigration & Nationality Act and 8 C.F.R. §2l4.2(h)(19)(iii)-(iv).

Fraud Fee

A $500 fraud prevention and detection fee is required for the initial H-1B petition or to switch employers. The fraud fee is not required for extensions with the same employer [see Section 214(c)(12) of the Immigration & Nationality Act].

Optional H-1B Fees

Premium Processing adds dignity to what can otherwise be a vulgar brawl. The $1,000 fee is almost always worth every penny. Decisions are made within 15 business days. Your lawyer is provided a direct telephone number and email address for the office, and the specific officer, handling your matter (should any issue arise that needs attention). And if applicable, your family’s H4 applications will be processed along with the primary H-1B petition at no additional cost.

Family members can apply as dependents of the primary H-1B applicant. The fee is $300. See Form I-539.

Questions?

Determining H-1B filing fees can be very complicated business. The fee overview above is a good starting point. But there are always unanswered questions. Drop any more questions about H-1B fees in the comments below.