The exact cost of filing an H1B petition depends on the size of the employer and the number of other H1B employees working for the employer.
Base Fee: All petitions start with the base fee of $460.
Fraud Prevention Fee: All new petitions and petitions to switch employers (but not petitions to extend status with the same employer) must include a “fraud prevention” fee of $500.
ACWIA Fee: Introduced in the American Competitiveness and Workforce Improvement Act (“ACWIA”), this fee feeds a fund intended to train US workers for skilled positions. The ACWIA fee is $750 if the employer has 25 or fewer full time employees, and $1,500 if the employer has more than 25 full time employees. It must be paid for all new petitions, petitions to change employers, and for petitions to extend status with the same employer for the first time. Subsequent petitions to extend status with the same employer are exempt from the ACWIA fee.
H1B-Dependent Fee: If the employer has 50 or more employees and more than half of them are in H1B or L status, an additional $2,000 fee must be submitted for all new petitions or petitions to change employers.
Premium Processing Fee: The premium processing fee of $1,225 is completely optional. If paid, it will guarantee that your petition is adjudicated within 15 calendar days. Without premium processing, H1B petitions can take anywhere from 2 to 6 months to be adjudicated.
Attorney Fee: Attorney fees for preparing the H1B petition are separate from the government fees outlined above. I charge a flat fee of $1,900 or $2,500 to prepare an H1B petition, with the exact price depending on the complexity of the particular situation.
It is important for both the employer and prospective H1B employee to realize that by government regulation, it is almost always the employer who is responsible for paying all of the fees described above. Employers who pass along these costs to employees by garnishing paychecks or simply having the employee pay out of pocket may be subject to fines or sanctions preventing them from being able to sponsor H1B employees for a number of years.