DHS resumes H-2B processing, new rule to come by April 30

March 18, 2015 -  By

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will resume reviewing H-2B guest-worker visa applications, the agency announced March 17. Its premium processing service remains suspended.

Earlier in the week, the Department of Labor (DOL) filed an unopposed motion to freeze the March 4 order of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida in Perez v. Perez until April 15. That order voided DOL’s H-2B regulations on the grounds that DOL had no authority to issue them. DHS suspended H-2B adjudications while it reviewed the decision.

DOL and DHS said March 13 they intend to issue a joint interim final rule by April 30.

Landscape industry trade associations urged landscape companies to contact their members of Congress to emphasize how important the program is to the industry.

“The Department of Labor’s decision was no small thing,” said Kris Kiser, CEO and President of the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute. “The H-2B program is critical to the workforce needs of many U.S. industries–including ours.”

The landscape industry employs more than 34,000 H-2B workers annually, which is about a third of all positions certified, according to the DOL’s Office of Foreign Labor Certification.

“Our industry depends on seasonal, temporary workers,” says Sabeena Hickman, CEO of the Professional Landcare Network/National Association of Landscape Professionals (PLANET/NALP). “Without the H-2B program, fully up and running, our industry will be immediately – and negatively – impacted.”

In a legislative updated email to its members PLANET/NALP said it’s advocating for premium processing to be renewed immediately.

“We are also working to keep the interim rule narrow and to prevent the departments from imposing new unworkable or burdensome requirements on H-2B employers,” the alert said.

Updated March 19


LM Staff

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1 Comment on "DHS resumes H-2B processing, new rule to come by April 30"

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  1. This is disastrous to anyone that is using the H2B Visa Program. Without warning our application has been stopped. We expected our workers to arrive in the next few weeks. Our season starts shortly & we are busier than previous years. We have a very limited work force in our area & we rely on this program. We had to provide prove of our need for additional labor. This is not an easy program to work with, it’s expensive & a lot of red tape. We are using the Premium Processing, which shows no sign of resolution.

    We have contacted our State Rep & Congressman, along with several other employers effected by this decision. A decision that we have not been given a good explanation for. The politicians response has been, “they are very busy and can’t schedule a time to discuss this matter”.

    This decision is nation wide, it effects thousands of employers. Please contact your local Rep & Congressman to put pressure on the federal court to resolve this immediately. This effects many livelihoods, including mine.

    Dave Zawojski