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REIMBURSMENT GUIDELINES

REGULATIONS

 

The H2B regulations require that the employer may arrange and pay for the transportation and subsistence directly, advance at a minimum the most economical and reasonable common carrier cost of the transportation and subsistence to the worker before the worker’s departure, or pay the worker for the reasonable costs incurred by the worker.

 

The amount of the transportation payment must be no less (and is not required to be more) than the most economical and reasonable common carrier transportation charges for the distances involved.

 

Specifically, according to regulations, a US employer hiring H2B workers is responsible for covering (paying for or reimbursing) the cost of:

 

VISA PROCESSING FEE(S) (if hiring workers from overseas) – the cost of the visa, visa processing, border crossing, and other government-related fees (excluding passport fees). These costs would only be incurred by, and therefore reimbursed to, H2B workers coming to the Employer from outside the USA.  The reimbursement must be operated within the first workweek after the worker’s arrival to the Employer.

 

INBOUND TRANSPORTATION (overseas / in-country workers) – the most economical and reasonable cost of transportation incurred by the H2B workers traveling from their point of origin to the Employer's location, provided the H2B workers complete 50% of the work period. 

 

SUBSISTENCE – the cost of food / soft drinks/lodging incurred by the worker during travel.  The maximum per-diem reimbursable amount is $59.00 per day of travel (1 day for those who fly, or 2-3 days for those who drive) as long as the workers provide receipts.  If they do not provide receipts, then the reimbursable amount is $15.88 per day of travel. 

 

OUTBOUND TRANSPORTATION – the most economical and reasonable cost of transportation incurred by the H2B workers traveling from the Employer's location back to their home country, provided the H2B workers complete the entire work period. 

 

WHEN TO REIMBURSE

 

For the summer season (May-Oct)

 

  • Visa fee - $206 - within the first workweek

  • Inbound travel – on or about the mid-point of the season (approximately August 1)

  • Outbound travel – towards the end of the season as release dates are settled

  

​For the winter season (Oct-May)

 

  • Visa fee - $206- within the first workweek

  • Inbound travel – on or about the mid-point of the season (approximately February 1)

  • Outbound travel – towards the end of the season as release dates are settled

 

WHAT TO REIMBURSE

 

TRANSPORTATION REIMBURSEMENT – INBOUND

 

H2B regulations require the employer to pay for / reimburse the most economical and reasonable cost of transportation from the worker's point of origin to the employer's location based on the common carrier used by the worker.

The reimbursable amounts for transportation can include plane/train/bus tickets, car rental, gas for the rental, reasonable luggage fees, taxi to the departure airport, and taxi from the arrival airport if airport pick-up cannot be arranged by the employer.  The amounts may vary depending on the employer's location, and date(s) of travel.

 

The majority of the H2Bs in our program fly, so for them the reimbursement should be fairly straightforward. 

 

Those who drive their own vehicles may turn in receipts for gas only.  For them, the reimbursement should be pretty simple as well because gas consumption can be averaged out in line with the make / model / age of the vehicle, mileage consumption and the distance traveled.

 

Those who rent cars may provide receipts for the car rental. In this instance, special attention should be paid, especially if the cost of the rental was shared with someone else (i.e. if 4 H2Bs rented a car together, then each person should be reimbursed ¼ of the rental cost and ¼ of gas expenses, etc.). 

 

SUBSISTENCE REIMBURSEMENT

 

Acceptable expenses are meals (no tips), beverages (no alcohol), and lodging.

 

Depending on the receipts submitted, you must reimburse accordingly, up to $59.00 per day of travel.

 

If the worker cannot provide receipts, then the total subsistence reimbursement is $15.88 per day.

 

Unless driving or traveling by train, flying should be considered only 1 day of travel.

 

TRANSPORTATION REIMBURSEMENT – OUTBOUND

 

This would be an airfare reimbursement, so it should be fairly straightforward. 

 

HOW TO REIMBURSE

 

If possible, we recommend that whenever possible all applicable reimbursements be handled via separate checks and outside of the normal payroll checks.  This way, in the case of a DOL audit, they will be able to follow the money with ease.

 

If not possible, then the line items categorizing the reimbursed amounts for subsistence and transportation should be clearly outlined and identifiable on the paycheck.

 

Record keeping is very important – copies of applicable receipts should be kept in your records (the employee’s personnel file) for at least 3 years.  

 

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