Corporate Counsel

Rising rejection rates for initial temporary work permits and renewals, combined with proposed drastic fee increases, new electronic registration procedures and huge backlogs at U.S. immigration services, are causing grief for employers relying on the programs for highly skilled workers.

Commenting on the fee increases, Punam Singh Rogers, an immigration partner in Boston at Constangy, Brooks, Smith & Prophete, said: “This is a burden for U.S. employers, because many of the employment petitions [fees] like H-1B and L-1, and other petitions with Australia are all going up by 53%. Green card permits also going up an average of 79%.”

The total cost for an employer sponsoring an H-1B petition could rise to as much a $2,500 per employee, Rogers said, not counting an extra fee to expedite the petition of $1,440, which Rogers calls an “extortion fee” because it frequently is required because of delays.

“Corporate counsel are going to have to take this into account for budgeting purposes. We don’t know how much it will go up, or if all these fees will go up but it does look like there will be significant changes,” she said.

The full article is available here.


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