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H and L Filing Fees for Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker

Any petitioner filing Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, must pay $325 to the Department of Homeland Security.There is no fee waiver for this form. Petitioners must submit all fees by check or a money order that is drawn on a bank or other institution located in the United States and payable in U.S. currency. The check or money order must be addressed to the “Department of Homeland Security.” Do not use the initials “DHS” or “USDHS.”

Additional Fees for H and L Petitions

You may be required to pay additional fees when filing Form I-129 for an H or L nonimmigrant. The following charts explain which Acts and Public Laws (Pub. L.) require additional fees for H and L nonimmigrant petitions. Please note that all USCIS forms are available free of charge at www.uscis.gov/forms

Additional Fees for H Nonimmigrant Petitions

  

Who Pays

Reason for Fee

Fee Amount

Additional Information

Certain H-1B or H-1B1 petitioners with more than 25 employees (count your full-time equivalent employees in the United States, including those at any U.S. affiliates or subsidiaries) (see details and exceptions below)

American Competitiveness and Workforce Improvement Act of 1998(ACWIA)

$1,500

Fee may be included in the same check or money order with the base petition fee; however, a separate payment is preferred

The beneficiary may not pay the ACWIA fee. That would be considered an offset against wages and/or benefits paid as stated on the Labor Condition Application

The H-1B Visa Reform Act of 2004(part of Pub. L. 108-447)permanently extended and increased the ACWIA fee

Certain H-1B or H-1B 1 petitioners with 25 or fewer employees (count your full-time equivalent employees in the United States, including those at any U.S. affiliates or subsidiaries) (see details and exceptions below)

ACWIA

$750

Fee may be included in the same check or money order with the base petition fee; however, a separate payment is preferred

The beneficiary may not pay the ACWIA fee. That would be considered an offset against wages and/or benefits paid as stated on the Labor Condition Application

The H-1B Visa Reform Act of 2004(part of Pub. L. 108-447) permanently extended the ACWIA fee

Employers seeking initial H-1B nonimmigrant status for a foreign worker

OR

Employers seeking approval for a foreign worker already in H-1B nonimmigrant status to change employers, including petitions requesting new concurrent employment (with exceptions below)

Fraud Prevention and Detection Fee

$500

Fee should be submitted in a separate check or money order

The H-1B Visa Reform Act of 2004(part of Pub. L. 108-447)

H-1B petitioners that employ 50 or more employees in the United States with more than 50 percent of their employees in the United States in H-1B, L-1A or L-1B nonimmigrant status (with exceptions below)

Pub. L. 111-230

$2,000

Fee should be submitted in a separate check or money order

Initially due to sunset on October 1, 2014, collection of this fee was extended through September 30, 2015 by Pub. L. 111-347

H-2B petitioners who file with USCIS(one fee per petition regardless of the number of workers being requested on Form I-129)

Fraud Prevention and Detection Fee

$150

Fee should be submitted in a separate check or money order

The beneficiary may not pay certain fees associated with an H-2B petition. Payment by H-2B beneficiaries of such fees is prohibited by USCIS regulations and U.S. Department of Labor guidelines, and can, among other things, result in a denial or revocation of the H-2B petition

Save Our Small and Seasonal Businesses Act of 2005 part of Pub. L. 109-13; 8 CFR 214.2(h)(6)(i)(B)-(D); U.S. Department of Labor Field Assistance Bulletin No. 2009-2 (August 21, 2009).

 Additional Fees for L Nonimmigrant Petitions

Who Pays

Reason for Fee

Fee Amount

Additional Information

Employers seeking initial L-1 nonimmigrant status for a foreign worker

OR

Employers seeking approval for a foreign worker already in L-1 nonimmigrant status to change employers, including petitions requesting new concurrent employment

Fraud Prevention and Detection Fee

$500

Fee should be submitted in a separate check or money order

The H-1B Visa Reform Act of 2004(part of Pub. L. 108-447)

L-1 petitioners that employ 50 or more employees in the United States with more than 50 percent of their employees in the United States in H-1B, L-1A or L-1B nonimmigrant status (with exceptions below)

Pub. L. 111-230

$2250

Fee should be submitted in a separate check or money order

Initially due to sunset on October 1, 2014, collection of this fee was extended through September 30, 2015 by Pub. L. 111-347

Who Pays the ACWIA Fee for H-1B Petitions

The table below explains when a petitioner must pay the ACWIA fee.

Type of Filing

Requires ACWIA Fee

Initial H-1B petition on behalf of a particular beneficiary

Yes

Change of status to H-1B or change of H-1B employer

Yes

First petition requesting an extension of H-1B stay by the same petitioner filing on behalf of the same beneficiary

Yes

Amending H-1B petitions of the same beneficiary not requesting an extension of H-1B stay

No

Second (or later) petition requesting an extension of H-1B stay by the same petitioner filing on behalf of the same beneficiary

No

 Exceptions to Paying the ACWIA Fee for H-1B Petitions

 The following organizations are not required to pay the ACWIA fee:

  • An institution of higher education as defined in section 101(a) of the Higher Education Act of 1965;
  • A nonprofit entity that is related to or affiliated with an institution of higher education, as defined in section 101(a) of the Higher Education Act of 1965;
  • A nonprofit research organization or governmental research organization;
  • A primary or secondary educational institution; or
  • A nonprofit entity which engages in an established curriculum-related clinical training program for students.

The ACWIA fee is also not required when:

  • A petitioner files its second or subsequent request for an extension of stay with the same employer for a foreign worker;
  • A petitioner files an amended petition that does not contain any requests to extend the validity of the petition it seeks to amend; or
  • A petition is filed solely to correct a USCIS error. However, to be considered exempt from the ACWIA fee, such petition may not contain any requests to extend the validity of the petition it seeks to correct, unless the USCIS error involves the validity dates.

Exceptions to Paying the Fraud Prevention and Detection Fee and the Pub. L. 111-230 Fee for H-1B Petitions

 If you are filing a petition for a Chile or Singapore Free Trade Agreement H-1B1 nonimmigrant then you are not required to pay these fees.

Exceptions to Paying the Fraud Prevention and Detection and the Pub. L. 111-230 Fee for L-1A or L-1B Petitions

If you are filing a petition for a beneficiary to change status from L-1A to L-1B or from L-1B to L-1A, then you are not required to pay this fee. The fee is only required for an employer seeking “an initial grant” of L-1 status for a particular beneficiary.

Paying the Fees for Beneficiaries Changing Status from H-1B to H-1B1 Chile/Singapore

If you are filing a petition for a beneficiary to change the status from H-1B, which he or she has previously obtained, to H-1B1 Chile/Singapore status, then the ACWIA fee is required (unless an exception applies).

The Fraud Prevention and Detection and Pub. L. 111-230 fees are not required for H-1B1 petitions.

Paying the Fees for Beneficiaries Changing Status from H-1B1 Chile/Singapore to H-1B for the First Time

You must pay both the ACWIA fee and the Fraud Prevention and Detection Fee for any petition “initially to grant” a beneficiary H-1B nonimmigrant status.

The Pub. L. 111-230 fee will also be required if the petitioner employs 50 or more employees in the United States with more than 50 percent of employees in the United States in H-1B, L-1A or L-1B nonimmigrant status.

Re-paying the Fraud Prevention and Detection and Pub. L. 111-230 Fees for Beneficiaries Previously Employed in the Same Status by the Same Petitioner

You do not need to pay these fees again if filing another petition for the same beneficiary for the same nonimmigrant classification. The Pub. L. 111-230 fee is also not required with an extension of stay petition if the fee was not in effect at the time of the initial filing. The fees would be required if the beneficiary has been outside of the United States for more than one year and the petitioner is requesting a “new” initial grant of H-1B or L-1 nonimmigrant status, or if the petitioner is filing to employ the beneficiary in a different nonimmigrant classification than the one obtained previously. For example, filing a petition to change a beneficiary’s nonimmigrant status from L-1 to H-1B.

Petitioners who request revocation of a petition because the beneficiary who held H-1B or L-1 status left that employer before the expiration date of his or her status do not need to pay the Fraud Prevention and Detection Fee if the petitioner re-files for the same beneficiary at a later date and the petitioner is not requesting a “new” initial grant of the same status.

Last Reviewed/Updated: 06/07/2013