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H-1B work visa fees could be expanded

Person working on a computer
Creative Commons
Person working on a computer

H-1B is a work visa that allows US companies to hire foreign workers with specialized skills. The work permits are a tool that tech companies in the Bay Area rely on heavily to hire their workforce.

In 2019, two-thirds of the annual 85,000 cap were approved for H-1B in the Bay Area.

The $4,000 renewal fee was originally implemented in 2015, and applies to employers where a majority of staff have H-1B or non-immigration status.

Now, the fee applies only to new H-1B applicants or renewals of those who’ve changed employers.

Under the new proposal, the fee will expand to those who have changed job titles within a company or taken on different tasks.

The fee, also known as the biometric fee, is used to fund a facial recognition system that tracks when non-US citizens enter and exit the country.

This is not the first time this year fees regarding H-1B have been increased.

Preliminary fees to apply for H-1B are set to rise from $10 to $250 next year.

New applicants, who won the H-1B lottery, will have their fees increased by $300, also starting next year.

If approved by the Department of Homeland Security, the biometric fee will affect about 22,000 renewal applications annually.

Hi everyone! I (she/they) am a Bay Area native, multimedia journalist, and latte enthusiast.