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USCIS Resumes Processing of H-2B Petitions

Maria del Carmen Ramos

Maria del Carmen Ramos

As reported on March 10, 2015, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) suffered a setback as result of a ruling by a federal district court in the Northern District of Florida on March 4, 2015. Essentially, in Perez v. Perez, No. 3:14-cv-682 (N.D. Fla. Mar. 4, 2015), the district court ruled that DOL lacked the authority under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) to issue regulations in the H-2B program and vacated the DOL’s 2008 H-2B regulations that establish the standards and procedures for certifying an employer’s request to petition for H-2B workers and determine their prevailing wage rates.

As a result of an unopposed motion to stay the court’s March 4, 2015 order until April 15, 2015 filed yesterday by DOL, U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) announced today that it would resume the adjudication of H-2B petitions based on temporary labor certifications issued by DOL. Premium processing, however, remains suspended until further notice.

Additionally, DOL and U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a statement yesterday that they are working together to issue a joint Interim Final Rule by no later than April 30, 2015.

Employers who participate in the H-2B program should not hesitate or wait to contact immigration counsel. Our firm is available to assist with your H-2B needs. For more information, please contact Maria del Carmen Ramos at 813.227.2252 or mramos@slk-law.com.

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