Additional 2019 H-2B Visas Available, But You Have to Act Fast
Last week, I received a note from Craig Regelbrugge, AmericanHort’s senior vice president of advocacy and research, about an opportunity for companies in our industry to apply for additional H2-B visas in 2019 — but you have to act fast!
Regelbrugge has been working with the other H2B Workforce Coalition chairs to provide input to lawmakers on how our industry has been impacted by the current labor situation and says this should provide some relief for growers.
On May 8, the Departments of Homeland Security and Labor launched an application process for an additional 30,000 H-2B visas for fiscal 2019. Companies wishing to take advantage of this new application process do not have much time as there is a very tight deadline — May 14.
These visas will be limited to returning workers who received H-2B visas in one or more of the previous three fiscal years (2016, 2017 or 2018).
Employers with a valid Department of Labor temporary labor certification for a start date of April 1 can apply directly to the Department of Homeland Security – US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) without re-advertising or going back through the DOL process, provided that their visa petitions are submitted to USCIS before the expiration of their labor certification, which should run through May 14.
Employers will also need to submit an attestation form that without H-2B workers, the employer will suffer “irreparable harm” or permanent and severe financial loss.
The attestation form is available from the Department of Labor and is posted at: https://www.foreignlaborcert.doleta.gov/form.cfm.
After May 14, employers will need to re-advertise jobs and file a new application for labor certification with DOL.
You can view a pre-publication copy of the rule at: https://s3.amazonaws.com/public-inspection.federalregister.gov/2019-09500.pdf.
If you need additional H2-B visa for your workforce, the clock is ticking …