We determined that USCIS charges employers a flat fee per H-2 petition, regardless of whether 1) the employer is petitioning for one temporary non-immigrant worker, or hundreds of workers, and 2) it takes just minutes or days and weeks for USCIS to process the petition. USCIS also did not limit the number of workers that employers can request on one petition, thus creating disparities in the cost employers pay to bring foreign workers into the United States. We also found that large petitions are prone to errors that can have national security implications. According to USCIS, the flat fee is used because USCIS systems do not capture the time required to adjudicate petitions with various numbers of workers. We made three recommendations to improve the fee structure and vetting process.
H-2 Petition Fee Structure is Inequitable and Contributes to Processing Errors