We wish all our readers a warm and hearty welcome. Although USCIS did not observe any “thrilling” improvement in the demand of the H-2B visa for the fiscal year 2010 (both first half and second half), it has really made people exciting from its recent announcement.
The United States Citizenship and Immigration Service recently announced that workers in H-2B classifications, who are admitted to perform labor and services in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) and Guam, are exempt from the H-1B and H-2B cap from November 28, 2009 to December 31, 2014.
USCIS makes clear that the exemption to the H-2B caps only applies to employment in Guam and CNMI. Therefore, temporary Labor Certifications for H-2B visas must designate Guam or CNMI as the sole place of employment to qualify for the exemption. Any petition requesting even partial employment outside of Guam or CNMI will not qualify for the exemption. Petitioning for employment outside of Guam or CNMI would require the filing of a new H-2B petition and that petition would be subject to the H-2B visa cap. Therefore, any worker who ceases to work for the employer and seeks to file for a change of employer with extension of stay for employment outside of Guam or CNMI will be deemed subject to the cap.
Well, employers who intend to hire foreign nationals in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) and Guam are certainly very happy with the USCIS decision. They can now hire employees on H-2B without having to go through the H-2B cap until 2014.
Contact ExpressH2B, if you are an employer wishing to hire either cap subjected foreign workers or cap exempt workers from Guam and CNMI cap.
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USCIS Updated H-2B Cap Count for Both First Half and Second Half of the Fiscal Year 2010
USCIS has updated the count of H-2B visa petitions, received and counted towards the fiscal year 2010. As of March 5, 2010 USCIS has received approximately 41,762 petitions and out of these USCIS has approved 40,508 H-2B petitions towards the first half of the fiscal year. For the second half of the fiscal year 2010, USCIS has received 17,083 H-2B petitions out of which USCIS has approved 13,900 H-2B petitions and 3, 183 are still pending.
H-2B Visa – Seasonal or Peak-load, Does it Really Matter?
It is very crucial for employers who wish to hire foreign nationals on H-2B visas to understand the differences between seasonal and peak-load employment. Although USCIS has provided various definitions to help both the employers and employees understand the meaning and significance of One-time occurrence, Intermittent, Seasonal and Peak-load needs, employers often get confused and fail to understand if their job need is either Seasonal or Peak-load. In this article we provide a side-by-side comparison of the Seasonal and Peak-load categories with the hope that this will help clarify the differing requirements and make the distinction easier to understand.
Full Article | Read
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 to the State Workforce Agencies (SWA) and all the necessary supporting documentation to avoid any unnecessary delay.
H2B Myths and Reality
Myth: H-2B program continues the trend of "Out-Sourcing" jobs.
Reality: If anything the H-2B program should be considered "In-Sourcing" jobs. Taxes are paid to the US government, FICA is paid into the Social Security System with the employee having little hope of ever collecting, and businesses keep flowing with the essential workers they need. It can be argued that unemployment will rise without the H-2B program, as many seasonal business owners will no longer be able to operate without it.