USCIS Temporarily Suspends Adjudication of H-2B Petitions As of 3/5/2015

On Thursday, March 5, 2015, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) temporarily suspended adjudication of Form I-129 for H-2B petitions for temporary non-agricultural workers!

As a result of a federal court decision on March 4, 2015 (Perez v. Perez, No. 3:14-cv-682 (N.D. Florida, Mar. 4, 2015)) against the Department of Labor (DOL), the DOL can no longer accept or process requests for Prevailing Wage Determinations or temporary labor certifications under the H-2B Visa program. A Federal Judge vacated the DOL’s 2008 H-2B regulations on the ground that the DOL lacks the authority under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) to issue regulations in the H-2B program. USCIS has also temporarily suspended its adjudication of H-2B petitions because H-2B petitions require temporary labor certifications issued by the DOL. The USCIS has stated that the suspension is temporary while they consider the appropriate response to the court order.
H-2B visas are available for individuals to perform nonagricultural work of a temporary or seasonal nature, if U.S. workers capable of performing such service or labor cannot be found in the U.S. This classification requires the Sponsoring Employer to conduct active recruitment to determine if U.S. workers are available to fulfill the temporary need.

Nonagricultural work includes Amusement Park workers; Bellhops; Bricklayers; Cannery workers; Commercial, Industrial and Residential Cleaners; Construction workers; Cooks; Crab Meat Processors; Fishing Vessel Deckhands; Dining Room Attendants; Electricians; Fast Food Workers; Forest Workers; Game Attendants; Industrial Groundskeepers; Landscapers; Kitchen Helpers; Sales Clerks; Tree Planters and the list goes on.

Note: 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, which is not affected by the court order.

Source of Information:
USCIS.gov, 3/9/15, News Alert:
USCIS Temporarily Suspends Adjudication of H-2B Petitions Following Court Order

National Law Review, 3/6/15, Article:
Florida Court Again Strikes Down DOL H-2B Regulations