A bill making emergency supplemental appropriations for border security was signed into law by President Barack Obama on August 13. In addition to providing substantial funding for border security initiatives, Public Law 111-230 requires certain employer sponsors to pay an additional $2,000 filing fee for initial H-1B petitions and $2,250 for L-1 petitions beginning August 14. These additional filing fees apply only to employer sponsors with 50 or more employees in the United States and with more than 50 percent of its employees in H-1B or L (L-1A, L-1B or L-2) status. The additional filing fee is not required for extensions or amended petitions for individuals already employed in the same status with the same employer.

The additional fees mean that initial H-1B petitions filed by affected employers commonly will require a total of $4,320 in filing fees and $3,070 for initial L-1 petitions. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) provided a description of the fee increase on its website. The announcement included recommendations that sponsoring employers not subject to the fee increase provide evidence outlining why the new fees do not apply and annotating whether the fee is applicable at the top of a cover letter accompanying the petition. The fee increase is scheduled to remain in place for affected employers through September 30, 2014.

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