H2A Visas – Proposed Suspension of H-2A Rules

In previosu Blog posts I reported the growing concerns from employers and workers with respect to the new H2A regs. The Department of Labor (DOL or the Department) now proposes to suspend for 9 months the H-2A regulations published on December 18, 2008, which became effective on January 17, 2009, that amended the rules governing the certification for temporary employment of nonimmigrant workers in agricultural occupations on a temporary or seasonal basis, and the enforcement of contractual obligations applicable to employers of such nonimmigrant workers. A suspension would provide the Department with an opportunity to review and reconsider the new requirements in light of issues that have arisen since the publication of the H-2A Final Rule, while minimizing the disruption to the Department, State Workforce Agencies (SWAs), employers, and workers.

To avoid the regulatory vacuum that would result from a suspension, the Department proposes to reinstate on an interim basis the rules that were in place on January 16, 2009, the day before the revised rules became effective.