The fee increase proposed in the document for the H-2B program would raise the total cost to file a named H-2B application to $1,680 for named workers and $1,180 for unnamed workers. The change would nearly triple the current fee of $460. There is an added $600 charge for employers seeking to take advantage of the asylum program offered within the visa program.
“This proposed fee increase comes at a time when small and seasonal American businesses are not only struggling with the cost of remaining in business, but also the cost of participating in the H-2B program,” writes the H-2B Coalition, a consortium of industry associations, in their letter. “The proposed increases in fees for the H-2B program are excessive, punitive and without explanation.”
For business owners, the fee adds to a tumultuous program already riddled with problems related to timing, ease of access and stability, according to the coalition.
“The proposed fee increases for the program are untenable,” says Nathan Bowen, Irrigation Association advocacy director. “A strong H-2B program is vital for the industry, but depends upon employers being able to access the program at a reasonable cost and with a predictable number of available visas and timelines. We look forward to continuing to engage with the administration and Congress on improving this essential program.”
Read more about the H-2B program.