How Much Does It Cost to Apply for H-1B Visa?

By Julie Oliver-Zhang, Esq. & Annjelika Slate

There are several H-1B visa costs that must be covered by either an employer or employee as part of the H-1B registration and application process. While thinking about these costs, it is important to understand who pays for which fees and at what point in the process these fees need to be paid.

H-1B visas are used by U.S. businesses and organizations to employ international workers. Applicants will have either graduate level qualifications or sufficient expertise to work in qualifying occupations. For further information on who can apply for a H-1B visa, see:

An H-1B visa, itself, can cost an upwards of $6,470, not including a premium processing fee or attorney fees. Here is breakdown of who is responsible for what:

FeeAmountWho is Responsible?
E-Registration Fee$10Employer
Basic Visa Filing Fee (I-129)$460Employer
USCIS Anti-Fraud Fee$500Employer
Public Law 114-113 Fee$4,000Employer
ACWIA Education & Training Fee$750 (less than 25 employees) $1,500 (more than 25 employees)Employer
Attorney FeeVariable (please contact us at 202-643-1110 for free consultation and quote)Employer
Premium Processing (optional)$2,500Employer or Employee

E-Registration Fee: $10

Basic Filing Fee: The standard (basic) filing fee is $460 according to the I-129 petition for H1b visa.

USCIS Anti-Fraud Fee: This $500 fee applies to new H-1B petitioners or those who are changing employers. However, those submitting extensions with the same employer or those who qualify under the Chile or Singapore Free Trade Agreement do not have to pay this fee.

Public Law 114-113 Fee: This fee exists for companies with more than 50 employees, where over half of those who are employed with H-1B or L1 visas. This additional fee is $4,000.

ACWIA Education & Training Fee: ACWIA stands for American Competitiveness and Workforce Improvement Act of 1998. These fees depend on the size of the company sponsoring the petitioner. For companies with less than 25 employees, the fee is $750. For companies with more than 25 employees, a $1,500 fee is required. The following entities are exempt from paying this fee:

  • Higher education institutions
  • Non-profit entities related to higher education institutions
  • Non-profit research organizations
  • Primary education institutions
  • Secondary education institutions
  • Government research organizations
  • Non-profit entities engaging in curriculum-related clinical training programs for students

Attorney Fees: H-1B attorney fees vary depending on the office. Please contact our office at 202-643-1110 or [email protected] to receive free consultation and quote.

Premium Processing Fee (optional): H-1B premium processing is an optional service that USCIS offers for a fast-tracked decision. This fee is $2,500. With this option, the fee can be paid by either the employer or employee.

Immigration laws and regulations change frequently, including the H-1B visa petition process. Missing or inaccurate information often can lead to USCIS denials of H1b visas. At Oliver-Zhang Law, we pride ourselves in our exemplary, client-focused service. Our experienced H-1B lawyers are here to provide the best service and help you succeed. Please contact us today at [email protected], or 202-643-1110 for a FREE immigration attorney consultation. We are looking forward to assisting you.

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  1. […] The U.S. labor market is growing as a record 6.4 million jobs were created last year. Securing an H1b visa is a great way to take part in this competitive and vibrant work force. The “Specialty Occupations” category is one of three H1b visa designations that a prospective worker may qualify for. Those applying for an H1b visa (sponsored by a U.S. employer) should be familiar with the requirements for Specialty Occupations.But first, what does Specialty Occupations mean? Essentially, the occupation requires “Theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge” and “Attainment of a bachelor’s or higher degree in the specific specialty (or its equivalent) as a minimum for entry into the occupation in the United States.” Specialty fields may include IT, finance, accounting, architecture, engineering, science, business, consulting, professor, and more.The position must meet one of the below requirements:* The minimum requirement for the position is normally a bachelor’s or higher degree or its equivalent;* The degree requirement is common to the industry in similar positions among like organizations or, alternatively, the job is so complex or unique that it can be performed only by an individual with a degree;* The employer normally requires a degree or its equivalent for the position; or* The nature of the specific duties is so specialized and complex that the knowledge required to perform the duties is associated with the attainment of a bachelor’s or higher degree.The employee must have:* a U.S. bachelor’s or higher degree from an accredited college or university; * a foreign degree equivalent to a U.S. bachelor’s or higher degree from an accredited college or university; or* an unrestricted state license, registration, or certification that authorizes you to practicethe specialty occupation and be immediately engaged in that specialty in the state of intended employment.If you do not have a bachelor’s degree or higher, you can still qualify for an H1b visa. Instead, you must demonstrate that you possess an education, specialized training, and/or progressively responsible experience equivalent to a U.S. bachelor’s degree or higher in the specialty occupation, and have recognition of expertise in the specialty through progressively responsible positions directly related to the specialty. You can substitute one year of university education with three years of work experience.Please note that if you do not have a U.S. degree, you will need to obtain a foreign equivalency certification. This is a report from an educational credential evaluator that shows the U.S. college educational equivalency of your degree. To learn more about the H1b visa process, click here and to familiarize yourself with the associated filing costs, click here. […]

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