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US keeps H-1B Visa cap at 65k; no fee hike

Posted on March 30, 2012
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The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) on Wednesday announced that the global cap for the H-1B visa to the US will remain unchanged at 65,000 for the financial year 2012-13 and the filing date for fresh visa will start on April 2, 2012.

US Visa H-1BThe fees for H-1B visas for next year also remain the same after they were last hiked in 2010. The H-1B visa, which is a category of employment-bases non-immigrant visa, has a base filing fee of $325. In addition to base fee, for employers with 1 to 25 full-time equivalent employees, the fee is $750 and for employers with 26 or more full-time equivalent employees the fee is is $1,500.

Along with this, employers will have to pay a fraud protection and detection fee of $500, to be submitted with a request for initial H-1B status. The statement by the USCIS has said that a fee of $2,000 is to be submitted by a petitioner which employs 50 or more employees in the United States where more than 50 per cent of its employees are in H-1B or L-1 non-immigrant status. There is also a processing fee of $1,225 for employers seeking premium processing service.

The demand for H-1B visas has lost its importance to a large extent mainly because of the increasing outsourcing and offshoring of jobs related to the information technology industry.

Though exact figures are not available as to how many H-1B visas were sanctioned to Indian IT companies, industry sources said IT companies, including MNCs in India,  got around 15,000 visas for 2011-12.

Shayan Ghosh

28 Mar 2012

http://www.deccanherald.com/content/237855/us-keeps-h-1b-visa.html

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