Louisiana Immigration Law Firm

Practicing under the 2015, Interim Final Rule, H-2B: Part 1

What a summer it has been. For practitioners practicing in the area of H-2B, spring of 2015 began with the implementation of the 2015 Interim Final Rule on April 29, 2015, changing our filing procedures for the H-2B program, and then we jumped into summer with the initial round of H-2B filings already under way.

We are nearing the end of our first six months with the Department of Labor on the first round of H-2B filings for October 1, 2015 start dates. After filing promptly on July 3rd, 90-days before the start date of October 1st, many cases are still in process with the Department of Labor, Chicago National Processing Center. On average, an H-2B case may be pending with Chicago DOL for two months under the new procedures. Without a Temporary Labor Certification from the Chicago National Processing Center we are unable to actually file the I-129 Petitions for Nonimmigrant Worker(s) with USCIS.

Business immigration practitioners are again racing against other businesses in the country vying for a previous place under the 2016 Fiscal Year cap with new H-2B visas becoming available for start dates on or after October 1, 2015 through March 30, 2016. A few weeks ago, we were, however, peering into mid-September still awaiting the Labor Certifications for start dates in October.

As practitioners around the country work our way through the new 2015 Interim Final Rules, a better picture will emerge in terms of “best practices” before both Dept. of Labor, Chicago National Processing Center, as well as USCIS, since one of our main hurtles presently is simply getting through the actual processes with enough time for the workers to timely arrive at the worksites.

Information concerning the H-2B Interim Final Rule may be found on the Dept. of Labor website:http://www.foreignlaborcert.doleta.gov/2015_H-2B_IFR.cfm

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