Temple Times Online Edition
    DECEMBER 10, 2004
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Changes in H-1B Processing Fees


TO:                 Chairs, Deans, Directors, and Budget Unit Heads
FROM:            Martyn J. Miller, Director, Office of International Services       
RE:                 Changes in H-1B Processing Fees
DATE:            December 10, 2004

On December 8, 2004, the United States Department of Homeland Security issued a press release (available on the web site of the Office of International Services at www.temple.edu/ois/home/h1b1j1/VisaReformAct.pdf), confirming that President George W. Bush has signed the Omnibus Appropriations Act for FY 2005, which contains provisions affecting the Nonimmigrant Worker (H-1B) visa category. 

Insofar as processing petitions for individuals in Nonimmigrant Worker (H-1B) status at Temple University is concerned, the most significant changes, effective March 8, 2005, are the following:

1.            “. . .  the Act creates a new Fraud Prevention and Detection Fee of $500 which must be paid by petitioners seeking a beneficiary’s initial grant of H-1B or L nonimmigrant classification or those petitioners seeking to change a beneficiary’s employer within those classifications.  Other than petitions to amend or extend stay filed by an existing H-1B or L employer, there are no exemptions from the $500 fee.  The new $500 fee applies to petitions filed with USCIS on or after March 8, 2005.

“Each of these fees is in addition to the base processing fee of $185 to file a Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker (Form I-129) and any premium processing fees, if applicable.”

2.            The H-1B "prevailing wage 5 percent rule," which considered employers paying no less than 95 percent of the prevailing wage as meeting the prevailing wage requirements, will be eliminated; employers will now have to pay at least 100% of the prevailing wage to comply with that wage requirement.

Therefore, any petition for Nonimmigrant Worker (H-1B) status received by the Citizenship and Immigration Services on or after March 8, 2005, requesting (1) new Nonimmigrant Worker (H-1B) status, (2) transfer of previously approved H-1B status, or (3) an amendment to a previously approved petition for H-1B status must include BOTH the processing fee of US$185.00 AND the new Fraud Prevention and Detection Fee of $500.  In addition, for any petition filed for H-1B status on or after March 8, 2005, the employer must certify that the nonimmigrant employee will receive a salary that is at least 100% of the prevailing wage.

For further information, please contact this office at the address or number indicated above.