Fees changing for foreign temporary labor visas

Hemp businesses using temporary foreign workers are going to see changing fee schedules for visas starting this fall.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security published a series of fee changes for visas on Monday. Visa programs are funded by user fees, which must be updated to cover costs.

The agency is hiking fees on seasonal work visas for which employers name the employees. The fee changes depend on whether an employer is seeking agricultural labor, as in hourly harvesting help, or for non-agricultural seasonal labor, as in an extraction facility. The changes:
  • $460 to $850 for named agricultural labor visas, called H2A visas. That’s an increase of 85%.
  • $460 to $715 for named non-agricultural seasonal labor visas, called H2B visas. That’s an increase of 55%.

Fees are going down for employers seeking visas for so-called unnamed beneficiaries, a new distinction in seasonal work visas for 2020. For unnamed beneficiaries, background checks are done later, with the workers likely being charged for the service. Those fees are changing:

  • $460 to $415 for agricultural labor visas (H2A). That’s a decrease of 10%.
  • $460 to $385 for non-agricultural seasonal labor visas (H2B). That’s a decrease of 16%.

The agency is also starting a $10 fee reduction for applicants who submit forms online. The changes take effect Oct. 1.