India is one of the leading pools of overseas labor for U.S. companies that seek to bring skilled workers here on H-1B visas.
However, the Indian IT industry recently raised concerns about a recent hike in the H-1B visa fee.
An increase in the fees for certain for certain H-1B and L-1 petitioners was enacted in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016 signed into law by President Obama last December. These petitioners have to submit an extra fee of $4,000 for certain H-1B petitions and $4,500 for certain L-1A and L-1B petitions that were submitted post-December 18, 2015.
These additional fees apply to U.S. petitioners with 50 or more employees if more than 50 percent of those workers hold H-1B or L nonimmigrant status. Further details are provided here by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
The Economic Times, an Indian publication, noted the hike had raised fears in the Indian IT sector that fewer U.S. employers would want to hire skilled Indian workers.
Joseph M Pomper, Minister-Counselor for Consular Affairs at the US Embassy, recently said this doubling of the fee had not dampened interest in the visas.
India has a massive outsourcing industry. The hike in visas is expected to tax it to the tune of about $400 million.
As well as the increase in the cost of H-1B visas, the fee for certain L1 visas, which are used for intra-company transfers, was raised to $4,500.
The scramble for visas this year suggested the hike has had little effect. Pomper said about 70 percent of all H-1B visas and 30 percent of L1 visas go to Indian companies. He said in the interview.
“The fact that more Indians happen to use that visa category is why they feel it more. It has not impacted H-1B or L1 applications at all.”
We note on our website that demand for these specialty occupation visas is growing all the time and demand outstrips supply. The statutory cap for the financial year 2017 was reached in just under a week in April.
At Peek & Toland , we are familiar with the high competition for these skilled worker visas and all of the detailed requirements that you will need to complete. We can help you or your company to avoid the pitfalls. Call us today at (512) 399-2311 for a consultation.