The H-lB Visa Reform Act of 2004, signed in December, includes a new “fraud prevention and detection fee” of $500 for each H-1B visa application, in addition to the already required application fee of $185.
This fee is the responsibility of the employer. It will go into effect on March 8.
In an effort to save the university as much money as possible, the Office of International Education will accelerate any H applications that are now in process. Application packets for status changes for current employees must be submitted to OIE by Feb. 15 to meet the March 8 deadline.
Application materials are located on the OIE Web site. The complete H application packet can be downloaded, and it includes a checklist of materials needed.
Any applications submitted after March 8 will need to be accompanied by the new $500 anti-fraud fee. Applications in the mail and postmarked by March 8 should be accepted without the additional fee.
It will be the responsibility of the hiring department to pay the $500. Federal regulations state that the fee must be paid by the employer; the employer cannot be reimbursed by the employee for this fee.
All check requests for the $500 fee will be routed through OIE, which will confirm the requirement for the fee and forward the request to Business Services. The check will be delivered to OIE for inclusion with the petition.
For more information, contact Mary Ann Kelly, associate director for immigration, at email@example.com. More details are on the OIE Web site at www.uga.edu/oie.