On 12/18/15, the President signed into law the omnibus appropriations bill for 2016.
Highlights of Business Immigration Provisions of the Act:
The bill extends the EB-5, Conrad 30, Special Immigrant Religious Workers, and E-Verify programs through the end of FY2016.
It also includes the following changes to the currently expired H-1B/L-1 fees for companies with more than 50 employees and companies where 50% or more of the employees hold H-1B or L-1 status:
· Supplemental L-1 fees for 50/50 companies increase from $2,250 to $4,500;
· Supplemental H-1B fees for 50/50 companies increase from $2,000 to $4,000;
o Fees must be paid on initial petitions and extension petitions; Fees are authorized for ten years, running through September 30, 2025.
o The effective date for this bill is December 18, 2015 – date of enactment.
Until the Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker (Form I-129) and the Nonimmigrant Petition Based on Blanket L Petition (Form I-129S) are revised, one would assume that all H-1B, L-1A, and L-1B petitioners include, as part of the filing packet, the new fee or a statement or other evidence outlining why this new fee does not apply.
As part of standard procedure, we will include a notation indicating whether or not the fee is required in bold capital letters at the top of the cover letter. The fee, statement, notation, or other evidence should be provided with each petition submitted.
- Calculating whether you are subject to the 50/50 Rule
- Calculate the percentage based on the number of employees in the United States. All employees in the United States, regardless of whether they are paid through a U.S. or foreign payroll, will count toward the calculation.
- Only H-1B, L-1A, and L-1B employees are counted towards the 50% calculation (do not count L-2 and H-4 spouses with EAD)
- No of Employees < 50 – Not applicable
- No of Employees >=50 AND H-1B + L-1A/B >50% – Pay $4,500 for L-1 Visa/ $4,000 for H-1B Visa
- Only applies to employees who seek initial nonimmigrant status for an alien described in subparagraph (H)(i)(b) of INA section 101(a)(15), or
- To obtain authorization for an alien having that status to change employers.
The new fee does not apply to extension requests filed by the same petitioner for the same employee.