The omnibus appropriations bill, which was passed last week, included a provision that increases L-1 and H-1B supplemental fees for companies that employ 50 or more employees and that have 50% of their workforce in L-1 or H-1B status. The supplemental fees for L-1 Petitions will increase to $4,500 and the fees for H-1B Petitions will increase to $4,000. The supplemental fees must be paid upon initial filing and extension.
This provision is effective immediately, which poses potential challenges and issues for those individuals who filed petitions on Dec. 18, 2015, or shortly thereafter, without the new fee amount included. AILA has requested USCIS to institute a grace period whereby petitions filed without the proper fee will be accepted and then issued a request for evidence to collect the proper fee. At this time, it is unclear whether or not this will occur.
These fees will generate substantial additional funds for the government to split between 9/11 programs, including the James Zadroga Act and the Biometric Entry-Exit tracking program. The fees will be in effect for at least 10 years, until Sept. 30, 2025. Because the prior fee level of $2,000 and $2,500 had no apparent impact on the demand for H-1B and L-1 visas, it is expected that the increased fees will also not have a substantial impact on such demand in the future.