From April 1, Indians seeking an H-1B visa will have to pay a registration fee of $215 instead of $10 as of today. Fees for other categories of visas have also been hiked, the L-1B visa is now $1,385 against the current $460. The worst hit maybe those applying for the investment-linked green card through the EB-5 visa, that cost goes up from $3675 to $11,160.
The hike in the H-1B is expected to impact companies in the US hiring foreign workers and may hit recruitment in the weeks ahead. It will increase the overall cost for companies hiring Indian talent. As for Indians applying for the H-1B, they already face higher costs for medical examinations and visa application fees. This will add to their financial burden, making it more difficult for many to pursue a visa.
The US government says the fee revisions will help the US Immigration Service recover a greater share of its operating costs and support more timely processing of new applications. It claims the hikes will simplify the fee payment process and bring efficiency in the adjudicative process.