The Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration (ETA) filed its annual update to allowable meal charges and reimbursement for travel subsistence for H-2A guest workers.

An unpublished version of the Annual Update can be found here. As a reminder, H-2A employers must offer and provide each H-2A worker three meals per day or provide the workers free and convenient cooking facilities. If an employer is going to provide the meals to the H-2A workers, the job offer must state the charge, if any, to the worker for such meals. The updated maximum allowable meal charge in 2021 is $13.17 per day, an increase from $12.68 per day in 2020.

Separately, H-2A employers must pay travel and subsistence costs, including the costs of meals and lodging, incurred by H-2A workers during travel to the worksite from the place of departure in the H-2A workers’ home country. The standard rate for 2021 is $55.00 per day (when receipts are provided). If a worker does not provide receipts, the H-2A employer is not required to reimburse above the minimum standard at $13.17 per day. The updated Annual Rates will be effective starting tomorrow, March 8, 2021 on the scheduled publication date.


H-2A employers should be mindful of the effective date on the allowable meal charges and reimbursement rates. If your Company has questions about the H-2A program, contact the experts at the Saqui Law Group, P.C.

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