U.S. Doubles H-1B, L-1 Visa Fees

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In what could affect hundreds of Indian IT companies, the U.S. Congress has doubled a special fee on the popular H-1B and L-1 visas raising it up to $4,500 to fund a 9/11 healthcare act and biometric tracking system that will. Congressional leaders, while agreeing on the $1.1 trillion spending bill, yesterday decided to impose a special fee of $4,000 on certain categories of H-1B visas and $4,500 on L-1 visas.

According to the agreed bill, the new $4,000 fee would apply to companies having at least 50 employees with 50 per cent of their employees on H-1B or L-1 visa. Such companies would have to pay a new fee of $4,000 for H-1B visas and $4,500 for L-1 visas.

While the specific provisions of the spending bill has no mention of Indian IT companies, the language of the bill has been written in such a way that it would have a big impact on Indian IT companies.

Though the lawmakers behind the bill described it as a temporary provision, the new H-1B and L-1 visa fee increase is for a period of 10 years as against a previous provision of five years. The previous such provision from 2010 to 2015 of $2,000 for H-1B visas lapsed on September 30.

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