DHS has proposed a $10 fee for electronic registration for new H1B lottery cases. USCIS is expecting the registration process to start for April 2020 season.
The new system will require all employers to use the electronic filing system that will help prevent fraud and streamline lottery process.
The fees is not a big amount as expected earlier and may not feel like a burden on H1B IT consulting companies (TCS, Cognizant etc) and make their business model more expensive.
The fees has to be paid by all H1B employers including product based companies like Microsoft, Google, Amazon, Apple and others.
Current H1B cost already has multiple types of fees to safeguard the American workers and keep a check on fraud.
The preregistration process will run the lottery on registered applications and only ask employers to submit the full form I-129 and other documentary proofs if selected. This should save time and money for employers by reducing attorney’s man hours.
Current H1B Fees
An IT consulting company who brings an H1B worker from country like India or China already pays a heavy fees of around USD $6460.
- Basic Filing Fee – $460
- ACWIA Fee (American Competitiveness and Workforce Improvement Act) – Employer pays $750 with 1 to 25 full time employees and $1500 with more than 26 FTE.
- Fraud Prevention and Detection Fee – $500
- Fee relating to Public Law 114-113: H-1B employers who have 50 or more employees in the US if more than 50% of these employees are in H-1B, L-1A or L-1B status have to pay whopping extra $4000 per application.
- Attorney Fees – Add to this an attorney fees of at-least USD $4000 and you are looking at good $10,500.
Extra fees will certainly add a new cost and new H1B applicants would need to factor it into their plans for 2020-21 H1B season.
USCIS is already issuing RFEs for low H1B wages (Like wage level 1) and employers are under pressure to maintain profit margins when USCIS is giving short H1B validity matching their client SOW.
Tough times are ahead for small and medium IT firms as they compete with large behemoths like TCS, Infosys, Capgemini and Cognizant.
The new fees is applicable for all employers who are filing the H1B for cap subjected applications. It can be a product based company, IT consulting company or any other company hiring H1B employees.
As per current information, H1B Extension, Transfer and Amendment should not be affected by this new fees. It will be only be applicable for new H1B lottery applications as they would need an electronic registration from April 2020.