H-2B Temporary Visas Changes Make Now the Time to Act
Employers can seek to hire foreign nationals from certain countries to perform nonagricultural labor of services in the United States through the H-2B program. H-2B visas can be issued for both skilled and unskilled labor in the United States, although H-2B visas are more typically issued for the landscaping, construction, and tourism and hospitality industries.
In April 2015, the Department of Labor (DOL) and Department Homeland Security published new regulations that made many changes to the H-2B program. These changes make proactive planning even more critical than ever to ensure the process starts on time and continues swiftly thereafter to meet scheduled goals for H-2B workers to start employment at the desired time.
For example, the new interim final rule added a new requirement for employers to register their company with the DOL within 120 and 150 days of the employers’ date of need. If an employer’s date of need is April 1, 2016, for example, this means that the employer must file the H-2B registration application between November 3, 2015 and December 3, 2015. This means that the time to start the H-1B process and file the prevailing wage request is now.
The timing of recruitment is also different under the new interim rules. Before, employers conducted the necessary recruitment to test the U.S. labor market before submitting the Temporary Employment Certification (TEC) application with the DOL. Now, all recruitment is conducted after the TEC application according to the DOL’s direction. Careful attention must be paid to the narrow windows within which to submit the various filings, which renders thorough and skillful planning by experts such as Wilson Law Group even more important.
We invite you to contact our office with your questions and interest in the H-2B process by calling our office at 612-436-7100 or scheduling by contact us here.