Increase to H-2A Visa Fee May Dissuade Employers from Seeking Essential Foreign Labor

Fisher Phillips

Fisher Phillips

Adding to the burden on employers leveraging the H-2 visa, the Department of State just published its own proposed rule outlining that this H-category of visa fees will jump from $190 to $310. This mimics additional burdens on these employers created by the Department of Labor’s wage analysis as seen in the Department of Labor’s staggering increases to H-2A employers’ Adverse Effect Wage Rates.

Impact on H-2A Visas

In its announcement, the Department of State specifically singled out H-2A visas. Instead of focusing on the huge jump in visa cost itself, the Department compared the visa cost to that of all H-2A expenses concluding, “this increases the total cost of bringing a worker by just over one percent.” This reflects the lack of understanding the government has with the needs of businesses.

What Can Employers Do Now?

The Comment period is open until February 28, 2022. Many of the comments already submitted request a more gradual increase. They note that this jump was unpredictable and will have a negative impact on visa users, particularly farmers, who budget for such program costs when planning for the next year.

Users should work with associations and submit public comments. Employers may post a public comment by clicking here.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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