On March 4, 2015, the federal district court in the Northern District Court of Florida vacated the Department of Labor’s authority to administer temporary labor certifications and requests for prevailing wage determinations for the H-2B program. As a result, on March 6, 2015, USCIS suspended adjudication of all H-2B petitions for temporary non-agricultural workers. The standstill of the H-2B visa program could have a high impact on many businesses and it could cause great hardship to the hospitality and landscaping industry, therefore, on March 16, 2014, the Department of Labor and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a joint statement. The statement explains that DHS and the Department of Labor are working towards issuing a joint Interim Final Rule (IFR). The rule should be disseminated by April 30, 2015, and should have guidance on how to proceed with the H-2B process. Moreover, the Department of Labor is trying to obtain relief from the Court’s ruling so that they can continue processing labor certifications and prevailing wage determinations until the IFR is promulgated.
We will provide additional information in the upcoming weeks.