Integrity Legal

7th September 2010

In recent posts on this blog it has been noted that the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) must raise the fees associated with the processing of certain visa petitions. The L1 visa is a commonly sought travel document for those individuals working within a multinational corporation. Specifically, the L1 visa was designed to provide a specific travel document for intracompany transferees. The following is directly quoted from a recent executive summary compiled by USCIS which was distributed by the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA):

On August 13, 2010, President Obama signed into law Public Law 111-230. The new law contains provisions that require petitioners to pay an additional $2,000 for certain H-1B petitions and an additional $2,250 for certain L-1 petitions. To begin public outreach on this legislation, USCIS held a teleconference on August 19, 2010 to share how USCIS will implement it…

The recent fee increase would seem to have raised some questions among petitioners, applicants, and practitioners. Therefore, USCIS officials were required to provide answers to some of the frequently asked questions. The following is quoted from the aforementioned executive summary:

During the teleconference, among other answers provided, USCIS informed the public that:


o The additional fee is required for certain H-1B or L-1 petitions postmarked on or after August
14, 2010;


o The law will remain in effect through September 30, 2014;


o This law is applicable to petitioners who employ 50 or more employees in the U.S. and more than 50% of the petitioner’s employees are in H-1B or L nonimmigrant status;


o Until the Form I-129 is updated, if a petitioner believes s/he is exempt from the requirement to pay the additional fee(s), the petitioners should include a cover letter, with their filings, that explains why the added fee does not apply. At the top of the cover letter, petitioners should include a notation of whether or not the fee is required in bold capital letters;


o If a petitioner does not include the added fee and USCIS determines the fee is required or if USCIS cannot determine if the fee is required, USCIS will issue a Request for Evidence (RFE) for the additional fee or for further explanation; and


o If the petitioner includes the increased fee, the fee should be paid by a separate check. The check should be made payable to the Department of Homeland Security. By paying the increased fee separately, USCIS will be able to more quickly issue a refund, if it is later determined that the increased fee was not required.

Employment visas to the United States of America are highly sought by foreign nationals residing in the United States as well as abroad. That said, the requirements that must be met for obtainment of such travel documents can be stringent. Therefore, the individuals seeking such visas are well advised to contact an American attorney in order to be fully advised of the processing details.

For further related information please see: E2 Visa.


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