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The Trump administration has extended visa restrictions to nonimmigrant visas.

On June 22, President Trump signed an executive order enacting a temporary ban on many types of nonimmigrant visas. The ban prohibits the issuance of new visas to applicants of H-1B visas, H-2B visas for non agricultural seasonal workers, J-1 visas, and L-1 visas. There will be exemptions for food processing workers as well as some healthcare workers. The new restrictions took effect on June 24.

The Trump administration has temporarily relaxed H-2B requirements for workers in the food supply chain.

DHS announced temporary changes in the requirements for H-2B workers in the food supply chain. The two temporary changes are: an employer may employ an H-2B worker for up to 60 days while the H-2B application is pending; and the H-2B worker may stay in the U.S. beyond the 3-year maximum. These changes only apply to aliens already in the United States with valid H-2B status who work in the U.S. food supply chain. This also does not affect the H-2B cap.

The H-2B cap has been reached for the second half of the fiscal year

On February 26, USCIS published an announcement that the cap on H-2B petitions for the second half of fiscal year 2020 has been met. Any petitions filed after February 18 with requested employment start dates before October 1, 2020 will be rejected.

USCIS Updates FY2020 H‑2B Cap Count

SCIS updated its H‑2B cap count for FY2020, stating that it has received 21,226 beneficiaries toward the 33,000 cap for the second half of FY2020, with 7,770 approved and 13,456 pending

H‑2B Petitioners Must Include Temporary Labor Certification Final Determination with USCIS Form I‑129

USCIS announced that employers whose H‑2B application was processed in FLAG must include a printed copy of the electronic one-page “final determination” of their H‑2B temporary labor certification approval when submitting Form I‑129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker. Employers must also ensure that the DOL Case Number identified on the final determination is the same as the ETA Case Number provided in Part 5, Item 2 of Form

USCIS Announces Cap Reached for Additional H-2B Visas for FY2019

USCIS announced that it received enough petitions to reach the additional maximum 30,000 visas made available under the May 8, 2019, temporary final rule for returning workers under the H‑2B cap for FY2019. USCIS will reject and return any cap-subject petitions and accompanying filing fees received after June 5, 2019.

DOL Will Only Accept Electronic Filings of Form ETA 9141 via FLAG System’

As of today, DOL only accepts electronic filings of Form ETA 9141, Application for Prevailing Wage Determination, through the new Foreign Labor Application Gateway (FLAG) System. Furthermore, beginning Thursday, June 13, 2019, H‑2B applications will be accepted via FLAG, and on July 3, 2019, all H‑2B applications must be sumbmitted via FLAG

DOL Publishes Notice of Updates to Procedures for Processing H‑2B Applications

The DOL Office of Foreign Labor Certification (OFLC) published notice in the Federal Register that all applications filed on or after July 3, 2019, will be randomly ordered for processing based on the date of filing and the start date of work requested. The public may submit comments on these changes through April 2, 2019.

DHS Publishes Notice of Eligible H‑2A and H‑2B Countries for 2019

DHS published notice in the Federal Register of the 84 countries whose nationals are eligible to participate in the H‑2A program and the 81 countries whose nationals are eligible to participate in the H‑2B program for the coming year. The designations in the notice are effective from January 19, 2019, and shall be without effect after January 18, 2020.

DHS Publishes Notice of Eligible H‑2A and H‑2B Countries for 2019

DHS published notice in the Federal Register of the 84 countries whose nationals are eligible to participate in the H‑2A program and the 81 countries whose nationals are eligible to participate in the H‑2B program for the coming year. The designations in the notice are effective from January 19, 2019, and shall be without effect after January 18, 2020.
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