The U.S. Department of Labor, acting jointly with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, recently issued an Interim Final Rule governing many aspects of the H-2B visa program. Some, including the departments, have hailed the new rule’s benefits for workers, while others believe that the rule’s changes will make using the H-2B more costly and more onerous for some employers.
The origins of the new rule stem from a recent decision by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida. That court concluded that the U.S. Department of Labor did not have the legal authority to issue regulations regarding the H-2B visa program. This decision wiped out the department’s 2008 regulations that set standards and procedures for certifying employers’ requests for importing H-2B workers and assessing the prevailing wage rates for temporary foreign workers.