When the American Competitiveness and Workforce Improvement Act (ACWIA) was enacted, it contained a number of 'sunset' provisions.
One of these provisions removes the requirement for the additional $1,000 filing fee imposed by the statute. As this fiscal year comes to an end, this sunset provision will take effect, absent legislation to the contrary. Petitioners filing H-1B petitions on or after October 1, 2003 will no longer be required to submit this additional $1,000.
Furthermore, petitions filed on or after October 1, 2003 that include the additional $1,000 filing fee along with the base filing fee of $130 in a single remittance will be rejected by the INS Service Centers as improperly filed. If the extraneous $1,000 is filed in a separate remittance with the $130, the petition and the $130 will be accepted, but the $1,000 will be rejected. Petitioners should be careful not to submit their petitions improperly so as to avoid having their petitions rejected.
The H-1B petition will still require the submission of a Form I-129W, H-1B Data Collection and Filing Fee Exemption, along with the Form I-129. It is only the additional $1,000 filing fee that is no longer required. The I-129W and its accompanying instructions will be revised, deleting all references to the additional $1,000 filing fee and fee exemption. The BCIS is retaining the use of the Form I-129W in order to collect necessary data on H-1B petitioners and beneficiaries. Retention of this form also serves to track the number of new H-1B petitions approved during each fiscal year. For the near future, at least, the BCIS will continue to require the Form I-129W to be submitted with the H-1B petitions to ensure BCIS adherence to the numerical limits imposed by law. It is expected that the BCIS will revise pertinent regulations applicable to this change in the near future.
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