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* Information on submitting checks to OIS during COVID-19 *

Filing Fees

The Department of Labor considers H-1B filing fees a business expense. As such, the sponsoring department must provide the OIS with JH-issued checks made payable to the US Department of Homeland Security to cover all filing fees. A separate check from the department is required for each applicable fee.  Even though they have the same payee, all fees must be in separate checks. Do not mail checks to USCIS. *** All checks must be submitted to the OIS advisor handling the H-1B case and have the name of the foreign national, whose case the fee relates to, clearly marked on the check. When OIS staff are not working remotely due to COVID [see link above], departmental partners who are not on the JHMI campus must send USCIS filing fees for H-1B applications by standard mail or by FedEx. [We strongly discourage intercampus mail as it can take weeks.] 

Useful tips on requesting checks, including vendor number and GL, are available in the OIS Sharepoint resources [see page 72 of the iHopkins H-1B Process User Guide ]. Also available is a MEMO for Accounts Payable.

H-1B I-129 Fee


All H-1B cases
Department of Homeland Security Fraud Prevention and Detection Fee$500Any H-1B case where the individual: 1) does not currently work for JH or 2) works for JH but is not already in H-1B status
USCIS Premium Processing Fee$2,500**

15-day expedited response time from USCIS; a response may constitute an approval, a request for additional information, or a denial.

USCIS will have 15 calendar days to process a case under Premium Processing. (This processing time was expected to increase to 15 calendar days effective 10/02.


* Filing fee for Form I-129 was expected to increase to $555 effective 10/02/2020. However, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California issued a nationwide preliminary injunction and stay on implementation of the 2020 final USCIS fee rule in its entirety. See OIS news for more information and background.

** On October 16, 2020, USCIS announced the fee for premium processing would increase from $1,440 to $2.500 effective October 19, 2020

Premium Processing
ONLY expedites processing at the USCIS stage.  It does NOT speed up processing in OIS or the US Department of Labor, or issuance of the H-1B visa stamp by the US Department of State if the individual is waiting abroad for approval of the H-1B petition by USCIS.  Premium processing solely for the convenience of the foreign national may be paid by the foreign national.  Meeting a certain JHU start date or other work-related reasons do not constitute convenience of the foreign national; personal travel and family issues do, as well as rushing a change of status to H-1B when one is not necessary from an employment perspective. The OIS must approve of any Premium Processing payment made by the foreign national.



Return Transportation Costs

If an H-1B beneficiary’s employment is terminated before the end of the authorized period of stay, the sponsoring department will be responsible for paying the reasonable costs of return transportation for the H-1B beneficiary to their last place of foreign residence. [This does not apply when the beneficiary voluntarily terminates employment]. Although no penalty is specified, should the employer fail to pay the required trip expenses, a complaint from the H-1B beneficiary asserting non-compliance may be considered by USCIS in its adjudication of future petitions from the employer.  USCIS expects the employer to meet this obligation, although it does not directly verify compliance. At JHU, return transportation costs will be the responsibility of the hiring department.