January 13, 2016

How Much Does it Cost for a US Work Visa?

With aspirations to go to the US, many Indians may join companies and become part of offshore teams, with the hopes of someday going onsite - to the client site in the U.S.A. 

Getting the chance to travel abroad for work should be considered a privilege and an honor, but as so many have gone before, many may feel it's just a matter of time. While in some cases, this may be true, have you ever considered the financial investment a company makes in sending an employee abroad on an international expat assignment? 

Well, according to the US Immigration Service, all those costs are about to increase. While the first break of this news came in late December 2015, the news has resurfaced again today on social media. 

Let's take a look at a breakdown of expenses for a typical H1B candidate (all figures in US dollars): 
$1,000-  $2000: Lawyer's fee for processing documents 
$1,900- $2550: H1B processing fee with expedited processing (fee breakdown here
$4,000: Additional H1B fees proposed for some companies under new law (more here
$6,900-  $11,450 for visa processing fees

[More detailed and up-to-date fee descriptions are found on page 25 of the document, Instructions for Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker, published by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).]

[Note: Some sources estimate H1Bs for some candidates can exceed US$8,000.]

Incidental Fees (based on location in India): 
$100 - $300: Flight tickets to U.S. Consulate from home office
$50 - $150: per night hotel fees 
$1,500- $2,500: flight tickets to the U.S.
$7,00 - $1,000: Per Diem for roughly 2-3 weeks while staying in hotel in the U.S.
$2,000 - $5,000: hotel expenses depending on hotel, location for about 2-3 weeks stay
$4,350 - $8,950

Totals:
$6,900-  $11,450 for visa processing fees
$4,350 - $8,950 for incidentals
$100-$500 for other fees (including cross cultural training on a per head basis)  
$11,350 - $20,900

Roughly it may cost a company anywhere between eleven thousand and twenty thousand dollars to send one H1B candidate to the US. While L1 fees would range from  $2,150- $6,550 depending on the extenuating circumstances. Keep in mind the new additional fees only apply to particular candidates based on particular profiles as noted in the links above. 

The purpose of writing this post is remind you that while some may feel they are 'in-line' to go to the U.S. or they may decide to join a company for the dream of going to the U.S., going to the U.S. is a privilege and an honor. Companies invest thousands of dollars in their employees to work onsite with the client. If you are reading this because you are the chosen one, remember this is a big investment on your company's part to send you. Make the best of it and never take it for granted. It's not everyday someone can get such an expensive, yet priceless gift in life. I know you will make the best of it!! 

It is because the company is already investing in you and others like you to go to the U.S. that cross-cultural training is such an essential part of this package. Understanding the other culture, their work culture, expectations, corporate etiquette and mannerisms helps offshore teams prepare for success onsite. If you are interested to know more about our U.S. cultural training programs that have been delivered to over 2,000 Indian business professionals, browse our programs page or contact us today

Related Posts: 
Does your company have an expat relocation strategy?
 

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