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Immigration Alert

August 26, 2010

H-1B and L-1 Update:

New Law Immediately Increases U.S. CIS Fees

On August 13, 2010, President Obama signed into law Public Law 111-230 which contains provisions to increase certain H-1B and L-1 petition fees.  Effective immediately, this new law requires the submission of an additional fee of $2,000 for certain H-1B petitions and $2,250 for certain L-1A and L-1B petitions postmarked on or after August 14, 2010, and will remain in effect through September 30, 2014.

These additional fees apply to petitioners who employ 50 or more employees in the United States with more than 50 percent of their U.S. employees holding H-1B or L-1 nonimmigrant status.  Petitioners meeting these criteria must submit the fee with an H-1B or L-1 petition filed:

   • Initially to grant an alien H-1B or L-1 nonimmigrant status, or

   • To obtain authorization for an alien having H-1B or L-1 status to change employers.

Since Public Law 111-230 was immediately effective upon President Obama signing the legislation, sponsoring petitioners having just filed or preparing to file H-1B or L-1 petitions may be impacted.  The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) is in the process of revising the Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker and related documentation to comply with the new law.  In the meantime, petitioning employers must be careful to modify their filings to comply with the new fee requirement or otherwise show it is not applicable.

The additional fee, if applicable, is in addition to the base filing fee, the existing Fraud Prevention and Detection Fee, and any applicable American Competitiveness and Workforce Improvement Act of 1998 (ACWIA) fee, needed to file a Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, as well as any premium processing fees.

The contents of this Alert are for informational purposes only, and do not constitute legal advice. Questions regarding the new law affecting H-1B and L-1 petition fees may be directed to Michael L. Kabik, Chairman of Shulman Rogers’ Immigration, Nationality and Consular Practice Group at 301-231-0937 or MKabik@ShulmanRogers.com. Thank you.