Who Is Required to Pay Fees for Employment Based Immigration?

Who pays for employment based immigration

Employees and employers often wonder who must pay for the permanent residency process and some nonimmigrant petitions. Unfortunately, the answer to this isn’t always straightforward. It depends on various factors, including the immigration process, the visa type, who is requesting the fee, and what the actual expense is.

Federal law bans employers from forcing employees to pay for their expenses, reimburse the employer for the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services filing fees, or the costs for attorneys who prepared or filed the employee’s H-1B petition.

Premium processing fees can be paid by either the H-1B employer or the employee, depending on the specific circumstances involved. For example, if the employee requests premium processing for personal purposes and not as a business necessity, then the employee will pay the fee. Additionally, the employee will pay for any costs associated with filing for dependents.

Federal regulations require E-3 and H-1B1 petitioning employers to pay any costs associated with government filing and legal fees, excluding visa application fees. Also, the employee can pay any expenses related to dependent filings.

Permanent Residency Sponsorship Fees

There are typically three steps in the process for employment-based permanent residency. Here are the three steps and the party responsible for paying the associated fees:

  1. Filing the Application: Federal regulations require employers to pay all fees associated with the PERM application process. This includes recruitment costs and legal fees.
  2. Filing Form I-140: The employer is not required to pay fees for filing the Immigrant Petition for Alien Workers, Form I-140. The employee must pay all the costs of filing this form, such as filing fees, attorney’s fees, and premium processing fees.
  3. Adjustment of Status: Federal regulations do not require employers to pay the costs associated with the adjustment-of-status process. This would include filing, legal fees, and other associated fees for the employee or their dependents. The employer also does not have to cover the filing fees for Form I-131, the Application for Travel Document (specifically for advance parole), or Form I-765, the Application for Employment Authorization. These applications are often filed along with the adjustment of the status application. The employee can also pay the costs of any medical exams or passport photos.

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