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USCIS Proposes Changes to Improve the H-2B Temporary Non-agricultural Worker Program

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced August 15, 2008 a series of proposed rule changes that will streamline procedures for hiring workers under the H-2B program.  These changes are being proposed in further fulfillment of the commitment made by the Administration last August, after the failure of Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform, to review and improve temporary worker visa programs using existing authorities.  The proposed rule, which has been sent to the Federal Register, supplements the extensive reforms of the H-2B program already proposed by the Department of Labor in its proposed rule published on May 22.

The H-2B nonimmigrant temporary worker program allows U.S. employers to bring foreign nationals to the United States to fill temporary non-agricultural temporary jobs for which U.S. workers are not available.  The proposed changes to the H-2B program, discussed by Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff on June 10, will encourage and facilitate the lawful employment of foreign temporary workers while ensuring the integrity of the H-2B program.

  • The proposed rule is designed to remove unnecessary limitations on H-2B employers while both preventing fraud and abuse and protecting the rights of temporary workers.  The proposed rule will:
  • Reduce from six months to three months the time H-2B workers must wait outside the United States before they are eligible to re-obtain status under the H or L classification
  • Require employer attestations on the scope of the H-2B employment and the use of recruiters to locate H-2B workers
  • Crack down on employers and recruiters who impose fees on prospective H-2B workers in connection with or as a condition of an offer of H-2B employment
  • Require an approved temporary labor certification in connection with all H-2B petitions

For the rest of this H-2B related article please feel free to visit www.uscis.gov.

Chuck Hollis

Ohio Immigration Lawyer
Chuck Hollis - Attorney Bio

E-mail: cfh@hollis-law.com

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