We receive many questions as to who may pay immigration sponsorship fees for certain nonimmigrant petitions and the permanent residency (green card) process.
H-1B, H-1B1, and E-3 Visas
Regulations do not allow the employer to require that the beneficiary (employee) pay for or reimburse the employer’s expenses for USCIS fees or attorney fees associated with the preparation or filing of an H-1B petition. USCIS views these as business expenses that the employer is required to pay.
Premium processing fees are an exception* and may be paid by the H-1B beneficiary (employee) or the H-1B employer, depending on the circumstances and if certain conditions are met.
*The employee may pay the fees for premium processing if premium processing is requested by the employee for his or her personal benefit rather than as a business necessity.
Dependents (H-4 and E3D)
Fees associated with filings for dependents may be covered by the employee.
The beneficiary (employee) may pay for legal fees or government filing fees for the employee and their dependents.
Permanent Resident (Green Card) Sponsorship
The employment-based permanent residency process consists of three steps.
Step 1: PERM Application
The beneficiary (employee) MAY NOT pay any fees associated with the PERM application process, including attorney fees and costs of recruitment.
Step 2: I-140
The beneficiary (employee) is allowed to pay for the fees associated with filing Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Workers. All costs associated with this process, including premium processing fees, attorney fees, and USCIS filing fees may be covered by the beneficiary (employee).
Step 3: Filing the Adjustment of Status
The beneficiary (employee) is allowed to pay all costs associated with the adjustment-of-status process, such as attorney fees and USCIS filing fees for the principal applicant (the employee) and the applicant’s dependents.
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