H1B Visa petition(Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker) must be filed by U.S. employers, who may begin applying for the H1B visa six months before the actual start date of the visa.
For example, the beginning of the fiscal year 2012 is October 1, 2011, employers can apply as soon as April 1, 2011 for the fiscal year 2011 cap, but the beneficiary(foreign professional) cannot start working until October 1st, 2011.
H1B Visa Fee
The filling fees include the standard H1B Visa filing fee of $320(Form I-129), Fraud Prevention and Detection Fee of $500, ACWIA(training) fee of $1,500 and optional premium processing fee of $1,000.
Border Security bill passed in August 2010 increased H1B Visa Filing Fee and Fraud Prevention and Detection Fee by $2,000 for employers employing 50 or more employees in the United States and more than 50% of the employees are H1B Visa or L1 Visa holders. The Indian IT consulting companies were among those being hit the hardest.
ACWIA(Competitiveness and Workforce Improvement Act) fee will be used in training of American workers. If the employer has 25 or less employees, it only has to pay half of the price($750).