U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced March 17, 2015, that it would start adjudicating H-2B petitions again via regular processing. USCIS continues to suspend premium processing on H-2B petitions.
As reported in a blog post March 12, 2015, USCIS and the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) stopped accepting and/or processing applications for H-2B prevailing wages and temporary labor certifications because of a federal court ruling that vacated the DOL’s 2008 H-2B regulations. The DOL filed an unopposed motion to stay the March 4, 2015, federal court order until April 15, 2015. DOL’s motion indicated that USCIS would resume adjudicating H-2B petitions based on temporary labor certifications issued by the DOL. On March 18, 2015, the federal court granted DOL’s motion and stayed its injunction until April 15, 2015, stating, “given that there are numerous United States employers who rely on the H-2B program to fill their temporary labor needs, the Court agrees that the requested temporary relief is warranted.”
DOL announced March 13, 2015, that it and the Department of Homeland Security intend to issue a joint interim final rule by April 30, 2015, that is consistent with the federal court’s decision.