The fast pace of immigration developments under the new Trump administration continues. The following are some of the issues that are most important to individuals and businesses in the United States: Continue Reading DHS Clarifies Policies Affecting Travelers and Applicants, As Details of Possible New Executive Orders Emerge
On April 15, 2015, the day its previous order was due to expire, the Federal District Court for the Northern District of Florida extended its permission for the Department of Labor to process H-2B wage and labor certification applications for another month, through May 15, 2015.
On March 20, 2015, the U.S. Department of Labor issued new FAQs providing more details on the latest developments in the ongoing federal court case challenging DOL’s authority to issue and implement regulations for the H-2B temporary worker program.
On March 17, 2015, the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services announced it will resume H-2B processing, but will continue to suspend premium (expedited) processing until further notice.
On March 16, 2015, the U.S. Departments of Labor and Homeland Security jointly announced that they intend to release a joint Interim Final Rule by April 30, 2015, to resolve the agencies’ suspension of H-2B processing following a Florida federal court decision in Pérez v. Pérez. See our blog entry of March 9, 2015, for details on that decision. DOL also announced it will seek interim relief from the decision so that it may continue H-2B processing in the interval before the Interim Final Rule is promulgated.
In the joint statement, DOL and DHS acknowledged that “hardship” has resulted from the halt in H-2B processing and committed to “moving as quickly as possible” to issue new regulations that will be consistent with the decision in Pérez v. Pérez.
As of March 5, 2015, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has temporarily shut down its processing of H-2B petitions and the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has stopped accepting or processing applications for H-2B prevailing wages and temporary labor certifications due to a Florida federal court’s decision in Pérez v. Pérez.
In late July 2011, the US Department of Labor’s National Prevailing Wage Center temporarily suspended processing of Prevailing Wage Requests (PWRs) in connection with labor certification applications. The suspension also affects redeterminations and Center Director Reviews. DOL has not announced how long the suspension will last or how long it will take to clear the PWR backlog once the suspension is lifted.
Since 2009, the Department of State has been phasing in a new, online visa application form at embassies worldwide. The new DS-160 combines all previously used forms (DS-156, DS-157 and DS-158) for all nonimmigrant visa applications except Ks and Es. DOS’s goal is to use the DS-160 exclusively worldwide by April 30, 2010.
On August 21, 2009, the Department of Labor (DOL) issued a bulletin discussing the interaction between the H-2B visa program and the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). After an extensive review, and under its wage and enforcement authority, the DOL has concluded that employers are responsible for paying both transportation and visa expenses of their H-2B workers, since these are “primarily for the benefit of the employer”. A copy of the bulletin can be found here.