DOL To Cease H-2B Processing as Federal Court Vacates H-2B Regulations – March 2015

From: USADNEWS Volume IX, Issue 1 March 2015

Effective immediately, the Department of Labor (DOL) will no longer accept or process requests for prevailing wage determinations or applications for labor certification under the H-2B program. This is a result of the decision on March 4, 2015 in the case of Perez v. Perez. The decision by the federal district court in the Northern District of Florida vacated the DOL’s 2008 H-2B regulations on the ground that the DOL lacks authority under the Immigration and Nationality Act to issue regulations in the H-2B program. The DOL states on its website that it is “considering its options in light of the court’s decision.”

US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has also suspended the adjudication of H-2B petitions since they depend upon the labor certifications issued by the DOL. USCIS will issue a refund for any petition that was submitted using the premium processing service if they did not act on the case within the 15-calendar-day period. In the meantime, some State Workforce Agencies (SWAs) are taking note of the decision and responding by closing any job orders that are currently running in connection with H-2B cases until the matter is resolved.

USADWEB will continue to monitor the situation and inform you if your cases are affected by this suspension.