Get access to the exclusive HR Resources you need to succeed in 2018!
SHRM board member David Windley discusses how unconscious bias can derail workplace diversity efforts.
Is your employee handbook keeping up with the changing world of work? With SHRM's Employee Handbook Builder get peace of mind that your handbook is up-to-date.
Build competencies, establish credibility and advance your career—while earning PDCs—at SHRM Seminars in 12 cities across the U.S. this spring.
#SHRM18 will expand your perspective – on your organization, on your career, and on the way you approach HR. Join us in Chicago June 17-20, 2018
Members may download one copy of our sample forms and templates for your personal use within your organization. Please note that all such forms and policies should be reviewed by your legal counsel for compliance with applicable law, and should be modified to suit your organization’s culture, industry, and practices. Neither members nor non-members may reproduce such samples in any other way (e.g., to republish in a book or use for a commercial purpose) without SHRM’s permission. To request permission for specific items, click on the “reuse permissions” button on the page where you find the item.
[Updated Oct. 1: Congress has not imposed these fees.]
If Congress doesn’t act by Sept. 30, 2015, companies with U.S. workforces comprised of a majority of H-1B and L-1 temporary visa holders will no longer have to pay additional fees for visa applications.
Known as the 50/50 fee, it applies to companies with more than 50 employees in the United States and more than 50 percent of workers on the guestworker visas.
Since 2010, there has been a $2,000 fee imposed on H-1B visa applications and a $2,250 fee on L-1 visa applications, in addition to the regular processing fees. The 50/50 fee revenue was originally earmarked to help fund a $600 million border security initiative before being reallocated in 2014 to help pay the medical needs of 9/11 first responders.
“As of September 23, an extension of the fee had not been included in the continuing resolution, the legislative vehicle to keep the government funded beyond September 30 [if the U.S. Congress fails to pass a budget by the end of the month],” said Rebecca Peters, director and counsel for legislative affairs at the Council for Global Immigration.
The fees have the largest impact on IT service providers from India, which send thousands of H-1B workers to the U.S. every year.
Angelo Paparelli, a partner in the business immigration practice group at Seyfarth Shaw, believes the fee should expire at the end of September and said it was originally intended to expire since it was brought on due to an “emergency requirement” at that time.
“The apparent emergency at that time involved the need to increase staffing and resources to protect the Southern border,” Paparelli said. “Congress has never explained, however, the supposed relationship between border protection against unlawful entries from Mexico and law-abiding employers relying on the employment-based H-1B and L-1 visa categories. Unless Congress clearly establishes the connection between the two unrelated subjects, employers using provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act lawfully should not be required to finance public protections that benefit everyone in the United States.”
Russ Harrison, director of government relations for the engineering association IEEE-USA, provided a different opinion: “The fee itself is an embarrassment. For the privilege of replacing American workers with non-American workers, the outsourcing contractor has to pay $2,000 once. It’s obviously not enough—not as a fee, and not as a policy.”
Harrison suggested that the fee be added to the continuing resolution to fund the federal budget currently being debated in Congress.
“If the fee lapses, it is very likely Congress would attempt to extend it at some point in the near future,” Peters said. “What is critical to remember is the H-1B and L-1B visa programs help America compete in a global economy.”
Roy Maurer is an online editor/manager for SHRM.
Follow him @SHRMRoy
SHRM OnlineStaffing Management page
You have successfully saved this page as a bookmark.
Please confirm that you want to proceed with deleting bookmark.
You have successfully removed bookmark.
Please log in as a SHRM member before saving bookmarks.
Please sign in as a SHRM member before saving bookmarks.
Please purchase a SHRM membership before saving bookmarks.
An error has occurred
Recommended for you
SHRM Member Discounts Program
SHRM’s HR Vendor Directory contains over 3,200 companies