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H2B Newsletter - Monthly Updates on Seasonal Labor Immigration.


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From the Editor's Desk


Welcome back! Summer’s over, school has started, and people are back to their normal routine. But one thing hasn’t changed much…want to guess what is it? I am talking about the H-2B visa count for the fiscal year 2010 employment. USCIS is currently accepting petitions for the first half of fiscal year 2010 and second half of the fiscal year 2009.


On August 6, 2009 USCIS announced that it had reopened the H-2B filing period for fiscal year 2009. Fiscal year 2009 petitions had be filed and adjudicated by September 30, 2009, the end of the 2009 fiscal year. But there is no significant change in the number of H-2B visas. Employers must be aware that to qualify for a fiscal year 2009 H-2B cap number, they must have submitted a fully completed Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, Form I-129, to the proper USCIS Service Center with all the required supporting documents, including an approved Alien Employment Certification from the Labor Department that is valid for the stated employment period on the petition. The start date indicated must be before October 1, 2009.


If the H2B petition is received on or after October 1, 2009, and/or you request a start date on or after October 1, 2009, it will be counted towards the second half of the 2010 fiscal year cap, and the petition will be subject to all requirements for the 2010 fiscal year.


As of September 25, 2009, USCIS had only approved 16,550 beneficiaries for the first half of fiscal year 2010, and there were petitions for 3,393 beneficiaries pending.

One filing tip for use when filing the H2B petition is to file via “premium processing” by filing Form I-907 and submitting the premium processing fee of $1,000 along with the I-129 petition. This can be critical to timely processing because the normal adjudication time for an H2B case is approximately 60 days. While the USCIS will make visa numbers available to petitions based on the order in which they were filed this does not help the employer that needs the temporary employees sooner rather than later.


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Get geared up for an exciting year ahead!





News Bulletin


H-2B Still Available for FY2010 Employment


The USCIS has updated the count of the H-2B visas received and counted towards the fiscal year 2010 employment. As of September 25, 2009, USCIS has received 19, 943 H-2B petitions, out of which 16,550 H-2B petitions have been approved while 3,393 more petitions are still pending.


Read More News



Featured Article


The H-2B Final Rule: Increased Flexibility or Increased Severity?


The DHS’ final rule for H-2B workers is designed to benefit foreign nationals seeking to enter the US in H-2B status, however this final rule makes it harder to gain approval of a petition for an alien not from a country on the approved list. So, let us discuss if the H-2B visa final rule has brought flexibility or severity for the US employers to hire foreign workers for their temporary and seasonal work requirement. Also let us recapitulate the H-2B visa final rule and all the additional requirements for the foreign nationals participating in the H-2B visa program who are not from a country on the list of eligible countries.


Read Full Article | Read More Articles



Questions and Answers


Question: Can the DOL develop a process to accelerate the labor certification process for occupations where there is currently a labor shortage?


Ans: In essence, there is a labor shortage for every position included on a labor certification application. To ensure fairness to each employer that applies for temporary labor certification under the H-2B program, all applications are processed on a first in, first out basis, with no exceptions. Employers are encouraged to ensure that they have submitted a complete application and all the necessary supporting documentation to avoid any unnecessary delay


More Q&A



H2B Myths and Reality


Myth: People on welfare should be taking all the H-2B jobs


Reality: While in some cases individuals on welfare could be at least temporarily supporting themselves, often welfare recipients are not qualified to do the available job or are not located in the area the job is being offered. For example, an oceanfront lifeguarding position requires that the applicant can swim. Not all welfare recipients can swim. Construction jobs often require the ability to do heavy lifting. Not all welfare recipients can handle the physical challenges associated with construction. Resort maid services often have duties that most individuals could perform, but the person would need to relocate to the area of the resort during the short period of time the job is available. Once again, H-2B employers want to hire as many Americans as possible.

News Bulletin
Featured Article
Questions and Answers
H2B Myths and Reality



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Test your knowledge about the H-2B visa by answering The H2B Quiz question.


I own a huge farm in California and Florida and I wish to hire few seasonal workers from outside the United States. Since I want to hire more than 1 employee, is it permissible if I file a single application that will cover all my temporary employees during the entire period of need where the work will be performed in different states, e.g., in California and Florida?


Submit your response to the query above. The best response and the sender’s name will be published in the next Express H2B Newsletter.


Submit Your Answer

Winner of the THE H2B QUIZ - September 2009:

Mahindra Sharma

The Question:

Que-I received my H2B visa through Company A but because of lack of transportation I had to quit and I don't know how this is affecting my status. I want to stay here legally. What options do I have? Can I go to college or can I still work for somebody else?

The Winning Response:
Technically speaking you fell out of status in the US when you quit working for the company that sponsored your H-2B visa. However, if it has not been too long since you quit you can file to change to a new employer or to change status to a different visa, such as a visitor or the student visa. If you apply and are accepted at a college or university they will issue you an I-20 which you need to get the student status. You cannot start working for another employer until you have a new petition approved.







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