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Who Pays H-1B Legal and Filing Fees?

February 27, 2014


At the beginning of the H-1B process, employer often want to know exactly how much the H-1B will cost and who is responsible for paying the fees.  In short, the employer is responsible for fees associated with the H-1B process.  Although the employee is the beneficiary of the H-1B, the H-1B actually belongs to the employer. 

Here is a list of the potential fees associated with the H-1B:

  • $325 Filing Fee

  • $500 Fraud prevention and Detection Fee for first time filers

  • $750 or $1500 ACWIA Fee (several exemptions apply)

  • $2000 Applicable if the employer employs 50 or more individuals in the U.S. and 50% of those employees are in H-1B status

  • $1225 Premium Processing Fee if the employer wants faster processing  

  • Attorney's Fees

  • Fees associated with filing the Labor Condition Application (LCA)

Who Pay the H-1B Fees and Why?

The employer is responsible for paying the fees associated with the H-1B process.  Since the employee is the beneficiary of the H-1B, the employee will often offer to contribute to the H-1B cost.  However, the Department of Labor (DOL) regulation clearly states that the fees associated with the H-1B process are to be paid by the employer and not the employee beneficiary.  In the discussion regarding authorized deductions from an H-1B worker's pay, the DOL regulation specifically mentions the fees associated with the H-1B process twice as fees that are to be paid by the employer:

 "The deduction may not recoup a business expense of the employer (including attorney fees and other costs connected to the performance of the H-1B program functions which are required to be performed by the employer, e.g., preparation and filing the LCA and H-1B petition."  20 C.F.R. § 655.731(c)(9)(ii) and (c)(9)(iii)(C). 

Employers should be prepared to pay the costs associated with the H-1B program and, according to the regulation, cannot allow employee beneficiaries to contribute to the fees. 

To learn more about the H-1B process, consider H-1B Visa Training and check out the following articles:

The Seasons are Changing:  H-1B Season is in Full Swing

Employers Should Collect Documents on the H-1B Checklist NOW to be Read for the April 1, 2014 Filing Date

What H-1B Is and Is Not:  When is the H-1B Petition the Right Thing to do for the Employer?

Written by:  Judith Robinson
Corporate Immigration Attorney
Mdivani Corporate Immigration Law Firm 

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