The California Employment Development Department (“EDD”) recently submitted a new Domestic Agricultural In-Season Wage Report to the Department of Labor (“DOL”),  which sets a new Prevailing Wage of $19.65 for H-2A agricultural workers engaged in general vineyard work (i.e., pre-harvest activities) in wine grapes.  The new prevailing wage for such H-2A activities applies to the North Coast of California wage reporting area which covers Del Norte, Humboldt, Lake, Marin, Mendocino, Napa, Sonoma, and Trinity counties.  

Jason Resnick

The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has proposed a massive hike in immigration petition fees, including fees to petition for H-2A visas for temporary and seasonal agricultural workers. Under the proposed rule, published by USCIS on Jan. 4, 2023, the fee for an H-2A Petition for unnamed beneficiaries would increase from the current $460 to $530, a 15% increase.  The fee for an H-2A Petition for named beneficiaries would rise from the current $460 to a whopping $1,090, a 137% hike.

Jason Resnick
The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has published the 2023 Adverse Effect Wage Rates (AEWR) for the employment of temporary or seasonal nonimmigrant foreign workers (H-2A workers) to perform agricultural labor or services other than the herding or production of livestock on the range. 
Starting January 1, 2023, the AEWRs to be paid for H-2A workers are as follows:
  • Arizona         $15.62
  • California      $18.65
  • Colorado       $16.34
  • New Mexico  $15.62
Teresa McQueen

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H-2A

Western Growers has been the leading agricultural organization in advocating for a comprehensive immigration reform solution that includes legalizing the status of currently falsely-documented farmworkers and a new guest worker visa program to ensure future flows of labor. With many members increasingly turning to the H-2A program to meet their labor needs, Western Growers has elevated H-2A reform as a top public policy priority.

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Western Growers members care deeply for the food they grow, the land they sustain, the people they employ, and the community in which they live.