Tag Archives: h1b fees

H1B Visa May 2012 Update

The FY2013 H1B visa season commencing on April 1, 2012 has just poset the first H1B visa quota numbers for the season and it looks like the H1B visa demand is roaring back. It is the highest total at this point since 2009 and more reminiscent of 2007-8 where demand was exhausted in the first few days and you had things like the H1B Visa Lottery which meant heartache for so many foreigners who applied correctly right at the beginning of the season

While last season FY2012, the H1B visa quota was exhausted on November 22, 2011, the H1B visa quota if continues at the current rate by mid July we may be fully completed which both is different from prior years and also probably means in 2013 with a further improving economy it will be even more competitive.
With the US unemployment rate down to 8.1%, and tech companies booming with many recent and forthcoming IPOs with Facebook, Yelp, Zinga, LinkedIn, Pandora, etc., the need for skilled workers particularly in engineering is hot.

On Friday May 25, 2012, the main H-1B Visa Quota fill rate is up to about 75% full with an ever accelerating increase of over 15% to 48,400 from 42,000 on May 18. Over the last 3 weeks there has been an almost 50% increase in H-1B quota and with recent Green Card Lottery Results now announced, those who missed out are now even more reliant on the H-1B visa route. Now 80% of the Advanced Degree exemption quota for foreigners with a US Master’s Degree is now exhausted, up another 9% to 17,500 from 16,000 on May 18.

Cap Type Cap Amount Cap Eligible Petitions Date of Last Count
H-1B Regular Cap 65,000 48,400 5/25/2012
H-1B Master’s Exemption 20,000 17,500 5/25/2012

It should be noted that the related H-1B1 visa for Chilean and Singaporean citizens are not included in this cap which is about 6,800 set aside each year but is rarely filled and unused from the previous year are used in the current year. These are still being accepted for FY2012. Also please note the Official USCIS FY2013 H-1B portal.

Congrats to all those who managed to find an employer sponsor thus far and have got their application in early this year and good luck to those on F1 Visa OPT this year in your quest to get an H-1B visa. It is already a more competitive year this year than recent times so would be good to accelerate your search now and apply, apply, apply!



US Visa Fee Changes Effective April 13

As of April 13, 2012, the US Department of State will is adjusting processing fees for most US visas. The fees for most nonimmigrant visa applications and US Border Crossing Cards will increase unfortunately, while at least the immigrant visa processing fees will decrease which covers all the green card and family type sponsorships.

The increases are supposed to be for increased demand in visas abroad along with facilities and staffing costs, however given the H-1B visa general demand over last 3 years is down significantly along with many other visas, not sure the logic holds up. Combine that with the huge US Budget shortfalls and this is an easy political move to increase revenue while not annoying actual voters.

As we said a majority of categories of nonimmigrant visa processing fees will increase, the fee for E visas (treaty-traders and treaty-investors as well as the E3 for Australians) and K visas (for fiancé(e)s of U.S. citizens) will decrease.

Nonimmigrant Visa Processing Fees

Type of Visa

Previous Fee

New Fee

Tourist (B-1), Business (B-2), Transit, Crew Member, Student (F-1), Exchange Visitor (J-1), and Journalist visas



Petition-Based visas (H, L, O, P, Q, and R)



Treaty Investor and Trader visas (E)



Fiancé(e) visas (K)



Border Crossing Cards (age 15 and older)



Border Crossing Cards (under age 15)



Immigrant Visa Processing Fees

Type of Visa

Previous Fee

New Fee

Immediate Relative and Family Preference Applications



Employment-Based Applications



Other Immigrant Visa Applications



Diversity Visa Program Fee



Determining Returning Resident Status