The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced today that it is temporarily suspending adjudication of Form I-129 H-2B petitions for temporary non-agricultural workers while the government considers the appropriate response to the court order entered March 4, 2015, in Perez v. Perez, No. 3:14-cv-682 (N.D. Florida, Mar. 4, 2015).
Due to this decision, starting March 4, the Department of Labor (DOL) stopped accepting or processing requests for prevailing wage determinations or applications for temporary labor certifications in the H-2B program. DOL is considering its options in light of the court’s decision. (See DOL Office of Foreign Labor Certification for more details.)
Because H-2B petitions require temporary labor certifications issued by DOL, USCIS has also temporarily suspended adjudication of H-2B petitions. USCIS will continue adjudicating H-2B petitions for non-agricultural temporary workers on Guam if the petitions are accompanied by temporary labor certifications issued by the Guam Department of Labor.
Starting March 6, 2015, USCIS has also suspended premium processing for all H-2B petitions until further notice. If a petitioner has already filed H-2B petitions using the premium processing service and the agency did not act on the case within the 15-calendar-day period, USCIS will issue a refund.
A U.S. employer who can demonstrate a need for non-agricultural workers (recurring, seasonal, or peak-load) may apply for the H-2B program. Examples of H-2B workers include seasonal constructions workers, landscape workers, and hospitality staff.
Please contact us for more information of the H-2B program and alternatives.
Elaine Martin has been practising US and global immigration law since 1997. She is an immigrant herself (from Ireland), so has a special understanding of the legal and emotional challenges involved in relocating to a new country.