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DHS and DOL to publish joint rule on additional H-2B Visas; filing to begin Wednesday
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The Department of Homeland Security and Department of Labor announced this morning that a joint rule for 30,000 supplemental H-2B visas for returning workers would be posted today for public inspection.  On May 8, 2019, eligible petioners who are seeking additional H-2B workers will be able to file form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker and must submit a supplemental attestation on Form ETA 9142-B-CAA-3 with their petition.  

As stated in the original announcement, the supplemental H-2B visas are available only to returning workers who received an H-2B visa, or were otherwise granted H-2B status, during one of the last three fiscal years (FY 2016, 2017 or 2018).  DHS and the DOL will restrict availability by prioritizing only those businesses "who would suffer irreparable harm without the additional workers".

In a prepared release to congressional staffers,  Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Kevin K. McAleenan stated that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Department of Labor will publish a joint rule making available an additional 30,000 H-2B temporary nonagricultural worker visas for Fiscal Year 2019. These supplemental H-2B visas are available only to returning workers who received an H-2B visa, or were otherwise granted H-2B status, during one of the last three fiscal years (FY 2016, 2017, or 2018), and availability is restricted by prioritizing only those businesses who would suffer irreparable harm without the additional workers.

“The Department of Homeland Security continues to urge lawmakers to pursue a long-term legislative fix that both meets employers' temporary needs while fulfilling the president's Buy American and Hire American executive order to spur higher wages and employment rates for U.S. workers,” said Acting Secretary McAleenan. “The truth is that Congress is in the best position to establish the appropriate number of H-2B visas that American businesses should be allocated without harming U.S. workers. Therefore, Congress – not DHS – should be responsible for determining whether the annual numerical limitations for H-2B workers set by Congress need to be modified and by how much, and for setting parameters to ensure that enough workers are available to meet employers' temporary needs throughout the year.”

You can view a copy of the rule online.

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