A very warm welcome to all our readers! Welcome to the January 2011 edition of the ExpressH2B Newsletter. We are back again to keep you updated with the latest things happening in the seasonal labor immigration. But before we begin our expedition, we would like to wish all of you a very bright and prosperous New Year 2011. With the advent of 2011, we have successfully completed one more year with you. We thank you for your support and trust. With this New Year, we plan on taking up new initiatives to make your visa processing unbelievably fast and fairly easy.
And now to seasonal labor immigration updates. USCIS on January 14, 2010, announced that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), in consultation with the Department of State (DOS), has identified 53 countries whose nationals are eligible to participate in the H-2A and H-2B programs for the coming year. A new list of eligible countries publishes in a Federal Register notice on January 18, 2011, and the designations are valid for one year from the date of publication. This new list does not affect the status of individuals who currently hold valid H-2A or H-2B visas or status.
Recently, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) updated its H-2B cap statistics for Fiscal Year (FY) 2011. USCIS received H-2B filings on behalf of 32,062 beneficiaries for the first half of Fiscal Year 2011, against a beneficiary target of 47,000. Of these, 28,053 were approved and 4,009 were pending. The 47,000 beneficiary target is USCIS’s estimate of the number of H-2B beneficiaries it will need to meet the 33,000 half-year cap for H-2B nonimmigrants. USCIS customarily accepts more filings than the allotted H-2B cap in consideration of the fact that a certain number of filings will be denied, rejected or withdrawn, and some H-2B petitioners will ultimately employ fewer H-2B workers than originally requested.
As the economy slowly recovers, immigration experts predict that H-2B visas for fiscal year 2011 will go faster than fiscal year 2010.
If you are an employer who has questions regarding Labor Certification or need assistance with the H-2B filing, contact ExpressH2B. ExpressH2B attorneys are always happy to assist you.
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USCIS Update H-2B Cap Count for First Half of Fiscal Year 2011
USCIS has updated the H-2B cap count for the first half of Fiscal Year 2011. As of December 24, 2010, USCIS has approved approximately 28,053 H-2B and 4009 are pending.
New Countries Eligible to Participate in H-2B Programs
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), in consultation with the Department of State (DOS), has identified 53 countries whose nationals are eligible to participate in the H-2A and H-2B programs for the coming year. Effective Jan. 18, 2011, nationals from the following countries are eligible to participate in the H-2A and H-2B programs: Argentina, Australia, Barbados, Belize, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Guatemala, Honduras, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Jamaica, Japan, Kiribati, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Mexico, Moldova, Nauru, The Netherlands, Nicaragua, New Zealand, Norway, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Samoa, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, South Korea, Tonga, Turkey, Tuvalu, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Uruguay, and Vanuatu. Of these countries, the following were designated for the first time this year: Barbados, Estonia, Fiji, Hungary, Kiribati, Latvia, Macedonia, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu.
Questions and Answers
Question: How should an employer advertise if the area of intended employment does not have a newspaper that runs 7 days a week?
Ans: Department of Labor (DOL) guidance states that an employer must advertise the job opportunity in a newspaper of general circulation or in a readily available professional, trade or ethnic publication, whichever the State Workforce Agency (SWA) determines is the most appropriate for the occupation and most likely to bring responses from U.S. workers. If the job opportunity is located in a rural area that does not have a newspaper with a daily edition that runs 7 days a week, the employer will be instructed to use a daily edition with the widest circulation in the nearest urban area or such other publication, as the SWA may direct.
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