The omnibus appropriations bill, which was singed into law last week, includes a provision to increase the H-1B and L-1 supplemental fees for companies with more than 50 employees, that have 50% or more of their employees in H-1B or L-1 status. The supplemental fees for L-1 petitions will increase from $2,250 to $4,500 and the supplemental fees for H-1B petitions will increase from $2,000 to $4,000. Under the new law, these fees must be paid upon initial filing as well as for extension petitions.
This provision is effective immediately, which may impact individuals who filed petitions on December 18, 2015, or shortly thereafter, with the old fee amount. It is unclear whether a grace period will be put in place which will allow USCIS to accept the case and then request the proper supplemental fee by issuing a Request for Evidence (RFE).
Employers and attorneys should keep these fee increases in mind as we approach H-1B cap filing season. The fees will be in effect for at least 10 years, until September 30, 2025, and are not expected to have a substantial impact on demand for either the H-1B or L-1 visa.
D&S will continue to monitor and provide updates as they become available.