H-2B Workforce Coalition publishes response to proposed fee increase

The H-2B Workforce Coalition published a response to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking.  
The comments describe the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service’s analysis as ‘flawed’ and the resulting fee adjustment proposal as ‘unconscionable.’

The H-2B Workforce Coalition, Washington, D.C., published a response to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking or 2023 Fee Rule 

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.

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“Despite higher interest rates in October, the lack of existing home inventory supported demand for new construction in the fall,” says Alicia Huey.
The show has provided a mobile app for attendees to download that offers critical information about the 2023 Irrigation Show.
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With the draft published, Nathan Bowen of the Irrigation Association says the IA and other stakeholders will evaluate the proposal.

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