Employers often cringe when they hear all of the fees associated with an H-1B petition. For an initial H-1B there is the $325 filing fee, a $500 fraud fee, a $750 or $1500 training fee ($750 if 25 or fewer employees) and a $2000 fee for certain larger employers that have more than 50% of their employees on H-1Bs or L-1As. What do all of these fees go to?
The filing fee goes to USCIS to pay for the adjudicating officers and all other costs to process the case. The fraud fee is to fund ICE, FBI, and other organizations to ferret out fraud. The training fee is to train US workers so they can become more competitive. So how do U.S. workers get this money for training?
Until now, it appeared to be a mystery what US workers actually received training funds. Now the Department of Labor recently awarded $159 million dollars in H-1B training fees to help train US workers in “high growth jobs”. More information is available in this Sacramento Bee Article which lists all of the organizations that received funds from the H-1B training fees. It appears at this stage it is just a redistribution from the National Department of Labor to the State and other local divisions of the Department of Labor (with a few other organizations mixed in).
Hopefully the H-1B training funds travel the next step towards educating people to perform these “high-growth jobs” in the tech and health-care sectors as promised. If so, this might be something that actually stimulates our economy.