American employers wishing to bring to US highly-skilled foreigners on an H-1B visa may soon have to face some other challenges, while applying, and that is the higher costs for getting the visa.
The Trump administration is proposing to increase the fees for H-1B visa applicants, in order to fund the expansion of the apprentice program that prepares the American youngsters in fields related to technology.
While testifying before a Congressional committee the United States Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta talked about the issue.
“Last year, the Department launched the first-ever sector-based apprenticeship grant funding opportunity to invest $150 million to expand apprenticeships in those in-demand industry sectors most often filled by individuals on H-1B visas, such as information technology, health care, and advanced manufacturing,” he said.
He further explained how the apprenticeship expansion would be funded.
“In FY 2020, the Department’s budget includes $160 million to continue our expansion of apprenticeship programs, along with a proposal to increase H-1B fee revenues to fund additional apprenticeship activities,” he said, not explaining how high this hike would be.
However, the White House budget proposal said 15% of the money raised from the visa hike would go to state career and education grants.
Currently, employers with fewer than 25 employees pay a fee of $750 per person, while those with more employees need to pay a fee of $1,500 per H-1B visa applicant. These are not the only fees that need to be paid for an H-1B visa application.
If the applicant wants to benefit from the premium processing, another $1,225 has to be paid. In addition, if the employer or employee decides to use an attorney for application, the attorney fees are added to this. The total amount paid for an H-1B visa can reach as much as $15,000.