New Rules Governing the H-2B Visa Program


Today, April 28, 2015 the U.S. Department of Labor and Homeland Security announced two new rules governing the H-2B Visa Program. The first is a new interim final rule established for the purpose of reinstating and improving the H2B program and second, a final rule to establish the program’s prevailing wage methodology. These rules are designed to protect US workers allowing them to fairly apply to the same jobs being offered to H-2B workers. The rules are also designed so that employers can easily access temporary foreign workers at a time when American workers would be unavailable. The Department of Homeland Security will provide guidance for interim transition procedures that must be followed by US employers. Together, these rules will continue to support American businesses and the country’s economy as a whole bringing continuity and stability to the H-2B program by protecting workers via an improvement in prevailing wage methodology, working conditions, and benefits that must be offered to H-2B and US workers covered by these regulations.

These rules will include numerous provisions designed to expand recruitment of U.S. workers, include “real-time recruitment efforts,” require employers to recruit former US employees first before offering jobs to temporary foreign workers, and will establish a national electronic job registry.

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