U.S. set to impose high fees for H1-B, L1 visas

Updated - November 17, 2021 02:03 am IST

Published - December 17, 2015 10:23 am IST - Washington

A bipartisan bill that the U.S Congress is set to pass on Friday will impose a special fees of $4000 and $4500 for H1-B and L1 visas respectively, in such a way that Indian IT companies will be the worst affected. Democrats and Republicans reached an agreement on the omnibus spending bill, on a day when >Prime Minister Narendra Modi shared his concerns on the proposal with President Barack Obama.

The new fees will be applicable for companies that have at least 50 employees and more than 50 percent of them are on non-immigrant H1 B and L1 visas. It will mean that Indian companies operating in the U.S such as TCS and Wipro will be affected by it, while American companies will have >only a fraction of their employees on non-immigrant visas and would stay under the 50 percent threshold.

In 2010, US had started a USD 2000 fees for H1 B visas but the >number of people taking it has only been on the rise . The 2010 bill lapsed on October and the new bill, though terms the fees “temporary,” makes it valid until September 2025, for ten years. According NASSCOM, the $2000 fees used to raise between USD 70-80 million for U.S annually.

“The Prime Minister shared with President Obama the concerns of the Indian IT industry and professionals on the proposed legislation in the U.S. Congress relating to H1B and L1 visas,” the PMO statement had said.

It is also decided that part of the money raised through the special fees will fund health care of 9/11 first responders under the 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, the other part will fund implementing a biometric entry and exit data system under the Department of Homeland Security.

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