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H1B Visa - Update

New Law - changes to the Temporary H1B Work Visa Program.

Washington, D.C.- U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that President Bush has signed the Omnibus Appropriations Act for FY 2005, which contains provisions affecting the HlB and L nonimmigrant visa categories. Both the H1B visa and L visa programs allow US employers to sponsor temporary foreign workers.

NEW FEES:

The HlB provisions of the Omnibus Appropriations Act reinstitutes the ACWIA fee and raises it to $1,500.

Petitioners who employ less than 25 full-time equivalent employees, including any affiliate or subsidiary, may submit a reduced fee of $750.

Certain types of petitions, that were previously exempt from the $1,000 fee, are still exempt from the new $1,500 and $750 fee. The new $1,500 and $750 fee applies to any non-exempt petitions filed with USCIS after December 8, 2004.

In addition, 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 HlB visa or L visa 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 HlB 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 1-119) and any premium processing fees, if applicable.

HlB CAP:

New 'exemptions' from the congressionally mandated annual HlB cap:

The first 20,000 HlB beneficiaries who have earned a master's degree or higher from a U.S. institution of higher education are not subject to the annual congressionally mandated HlB visa cap of 65,000.

After those additional 20,000 slots are filled, the USCIS is required to count those cases against the cap for the remainder of the fiscal year.

For FY 2005, the new provision will allow USCIS to accept new petitions on behalf of up to 20,000 beneficiaries meeting these criteria.

Petitions under this provision cannot be filed at this time, as the provision is not effective until March 8, 2005. USCIS will provide additional guidance on eligibility and process at a later date.

Public Law 108-441 extended the "Conrad 30" J-l program covering certain medical graduates. Nonimmigrants currently in the United States on a Jl (exchange) visa who receive Ii waiver of the two year residency requirement if requested by either a federal or state agency are now exempt from the HlB cap.

HOW TO FIND THE LATEST H1B JOBS & VISA SPONSORSHIP

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SEE BELOW FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON THE H1B VISA PROGRAM:

>> THE H1B VISA - OVERVIEW

>> FIND OUT IF YOU QUALIFY FOR AN H1B VISA

>> H1B JOB SEEKER SOLUTIONS/RESOURCES

>> THE H1B VISA APPLICATION PROCESS

>> H1B PREMIUM PROCESSING APPLICATION SERVICE

>> H1B SPONSOR / EMPLOYER LEGAL OBLIGATIONS

>> HOW TO EXTEND / REVALIDATE YOUR H1B VISA

>> HOW TO TRANSFER YOUR H1B VISA TO A NEW EMPLOYER/SPONSOR

>> HAVE MULTIPLE H1B VISAS for DIFFERENT EMPLOYERS

>> HOW TO CHECK THE STATUS OF YOUR VISA

THE BEST H1B JOBS WITH THE TOP H1B SPONSORS

US IMMIGRATION NEWS - Law changes and Updates

How To Form a US Company?


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