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US scraps ‘Discriminatory’ H-1B Visa Outsourcing Fee For On Indian Firms

Posted on October 14, 2015
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In a relief to Indian IT companies, the US has scrapped an additional fee of USD 2,000 for H-1B visa and USD 2,500 for L1 visa seen as discriminatory.

Popularly known as outsourcing fee, such a fee was called discriminatory by Indian companies as it majorly affected them and hit their ease of doing business in the United States.

The charges had forced Indian IT companies in the last few years to pay millions of dollars towards protecting the US-Mexican border from illegal immigration.

Passed by the US Congress in August 2010, the law contained provision to increase H-1B and L-1 Visa fee per application by USD 2,000 and USD 2,250 respectively for companies having more than 50 per cent of its employees overseas.

This mainly affected Indian IT companies.

In a recent report, NASSCOM said Indian tech industry contributed an estimated over USD 375 million during this period to the US Treasury as part of this law. But not any more.

“H-1B and L-1 petitions filed on or after October 1, 2015, should not include the additional fee that was previously required…for certain H-1B and L-1 petitions. The additional fee required by…law… expired on September 30, 2015,” the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) said in a statement.

All other H-1B and L-1 fees, including the base fee, Fraud Prevention and Detection Fee, and American Competitiveness and Workforce Improvement Act of 1998 (ACWIA) Fee when applicable, are still required, it said.

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