Washington: In what could affect hundreds of Indian IT companies, the US Congress has doubled a special fee on the popular H-1B and L-1 visas raising it up to USD 4,500 to fund a 9/11 healthcare act and biometric tracking system that will.
Congressional leaders, while agreeing on the USD 1.1 trillion spending bill, yesterday decided to impose a special fee of USD 4,000 on certain categories of H-1B visas and USD 4,500 on L-1 visas.
According to the agreed bill, the new USD 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 USD 4,000 for H-1B visas and USD 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 USD 2,000 for H-1B visas lapsed on September 30.
With Agency Inputs