US L1 Visa Cost
The L1 visa offers companies a route to transfer non-US national employees to a US branch or subsidiary on a temporary basis. One of the key factors for employers will be understanding the US L-1 visa costs of filing a petition.
We take a look at the fees you will be liable to pay when filing a petition for an intra-company transfer visa to the US.
L-1 visa filing fee: $460
The first part of the L1 visa petitioning process will be for the organization to file form I-129 with USCIS. This incurs a charge of $460 for the employer, which is to be paid at the same time as the form and supporting documentation are submitted.
The fee applies to applications for an initial L-1 visa filed from outside the US, for change of status petitions filed in the US and to L-1 visa extensions. There is no fee waiver for this form.
US L-1 visa cost for premium processing (optional): $1,410
The precise timeframe for standard L-1 petition processing can vary depending on the caseload of the USCIS service center where the petition is filed, but generally applicants should work on the basis of six months for standard processing.
Premium processing is available under the L-1 visa classification, both in the L-1A and L-1B categories, to expedite processing to within 15 calendar days.
The premium service costs $1,410 (effective October 2018), which can be paid either by the employer or the worker (‘beneficiary’).
It is important to note that premium processing does not guarantee the application will be approved; it relates only to faster decision-making.
If USCIS fails to process the application within the 15 day time limit, without having issued a request for further information, the premium processing fee will be refunded and the appliction will continue to be processed under the expedited service.
With approval of the I-129, USCIS will issue a notice of action and the worker will be able to proceed with the L-1 visa application, either applying at a US Consular post in their country of residence or as a change of status petition made within the US.
Fraud Prevention and Detection Fee: $500
This fee is payable where employers are filing for an initial L-1 visa for a foreign worker, or where the worker already holds valid L-1 visa status, but is filing to change employers.
Public Law 114-113 Fee: $4,500
This fee will only apply if an employer is seeking an initial grant of L-1 status for a foreign worker and the organization employs more than 50 employees and of those, over half are under L-1A, L-1B, or H-1B status.
The Public Law fee is not payable for L-1 extentions or for L visa transfers relating to workers changing status from L-1A to L-1B or from L-1B to L-1A status.
DS-160 application fee for overseas filing: $190
When the worker files their petition for a L-1 visa at a US consulate or embassy in their country of residence, they will be required to pay the MRV fee. The MRV Fee for petition-based applications, including the L-1 visa, is $190:00.
The MRV application fee is non-transferable and there can be no refund of the fee if the application is refused. Refunds are also not available where the applicant schedules an appointment, cancels and does not reschedule within 12 months.
The fee is valid for one visa application within twelve months of the date of payment. If the worker is unable to attend the interview, they may reschedule an appointment for any time within that 12 month period. The fee is not valid for use by a third party.
The MRV fee is not payable if the worker is applying for a change of status to the L-1 category from within the US.
The fee is also waived for the following:
- Diplomatic passport holders
- Official passport holders applying for official visas
- Employees of International Organizations (G Visas)
- Foreign Military Personal stationed in the U.S. (NATO visas)
- Exchange Visitors who are sponsored by the U.S. government (J Visas)
Nationals of certain countries are required to pay an issuance fee in order for an approved visa to be issued. Fees are based on reciprocity and reflect the charges levied by the applicant’s government to a US citizen for a similar service. For L category, the only issuance fees charged to a British Citizen passport holder is for the L-2, ie L-1 visa dependents.
Paying the fees
The Fraud prevention fee and the Public Law 114-113 Fee, where applicable, must be paid when submitting form I-129 or the application will be rejected or denied.
Each fee should be submitted in a separate check or money order drawn on a bank or other financial institution US. Checks and money orders must be made out to ‘U.S. Department of Homeland Security’, and no abbrebviation thereof. You should not send cash.
The fees must be paid in US dollars.
Do you have a question about the L1 visa costs?
Intra-company transfers typically relate to employees who are high profile and bring business- and project critical skills and knowledge. Getting the application right first time will be vital to avoid delays or a refused petition, and wasted outlay in US L1 visa costs. Employers should also factor in the resource and effort required to compile the submission to the required standard.
NNU Immigration are specialist US immigration attorneys. From our central London base, we support companies from across the globe with L-1 visa petitions, ensuring initial eligibility and exploring potential alternative routes to transfer key workers to the US. We also provide guidance to the employer and employee through the petitioning process, and also extension applications.
If you have a question about the L-1 visa application process or eligibility requirements, contact us.
This article does not constitute direct legal advice and is for informational purposes only.