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NCAE Annual Meeting – February 7-9 2017

Save the date for NCAE’s 53rd Annual Meeting to be held February 7-9th 2017 at the Embassy Suites (900 10th Street NW) in Washington,  D.C.

Note that February 9th will be an optional H-2A Day. Stay tuned for the Agenda and Registration to be posted in December 2016.

In the meantime, make your Hotel Reservations at the Embassy Suites (Rates are $209/night and Cut-off date is January 13th).

Any interested Sponsors, please review the Sponsorship Opportunities and contact Meghan@ncaeonline.org by December 20th, 2016.

 

2016 Election Results

Now that the 2016 Election results are in, we know that Donald Trump will be our President in 2017. As with all Presidential changes, a continuing hallmark of our democracy in the United States is a peaceful— and hopefully gracious transfer of power. And, we both hope and expect, a level of respect and cooperation for the President-Elect to get briefed, up to speed, and at work for the American people, all of them. This is now the time to work to build relationships and educate the transition team on the issues and needs of Agricultural Employers.

While it is still too early to be able to begin real analysis of what 2017 offers us, we know that we will be looking at a Republican administration, Republican Senate, and Republican House in 2017. This poses huge (or should we say YUUUGE) opportunities AND challenges for agricultural employers. For some of those opportunities and challenges, read Frank’s full comment’s here.

USCIS Fee Increases Applies to H-2A Program as well

The fee increase that USCIS had proposed back in May (from $325 to $460) was issued as a final rule Monday, October 24, to take effect 60 days from that publication.  Any I-129s filed after the effective date (December 23, 2016) will need to include payment of the higher fee amount.

The final rule references the comments submitted (including NCAE’s Comments) with respect to the I-129 fees, in particular, for H-2A petitions – where employers/agents expressed serious concerns with the processing problems within the agency.  The final rule mentions the concerns, but does not offer any solution for resolving them; simply insisting that an increase (of 41.5%, double the overall average increase of 21%) in fee levels is required for CIS to administer its part of the programs.

Final Rule with Fee Schedule changes (157 page rule with i-129 discussion on pp. 28-30 and 94-98)

Federal Register with Fee Schedule Changes

Chart outlining Fee Increases

NCAE Original Comments on Fee Schedule Changes