March 28, 2024

It’s About To Get A Lot More Expensive For Tech Companies To Hire H-1B Visa Holders

US Visa

Tech workers reliant on H-1B visas are facing concerns as fees for these visas and green cards are set to increase next month for the first time since 2016. 

An Increase In Visas Fees

The increase, set to go into effect April 1, was initiated by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to address a backlog of soaring application numbers, reaching 10.9 million in 2023.

Additionally, the fees for H-1B visas, needed for thousands of highly skilled tech workers, will increase by 70% for large employers, moving from $460 to $780. 

However, smaller businesses and nonprofits will not see a change in their fees. 

This rise poses challenges, especially for startups and smaller tech firms, in managing the costs of employing international talent.

What Will The Overall Effect Be?

Overall, application costs, including those for naturalization and green cards, are trending upward despite some reductions, such as eliminating biometric service fees. 

The USCIS has introduced mitigating measures such as online application discounts, but the general concern about heightened financial strains remains.

These changes are likely to impact the ability of tech workers to secure sponsorship and work in the U.S., with low-income applicants and smaller businesses feeling the most pressure. 

Furthermore, the increase in premium processing fees and the change from calendar to business days for processing times could introduce delays in the hiring process.

Sara Keenan

Tech Reporter at POCIT. Following her master's degree in journalism, Sara cultivated a deep passion for writing and driving positive change for Black and Brown individuals across all areas of life. This passion expanded to include the experiences of Black and Brown people in tech thanks to her internship experience as an editorial assistant at a tech startup.