Temporary Need Documentation for H-2B Workers Not Required

By Roy Maurer Sep 16, 2016
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Organizations seeking to employ H-2B guest workers no longer have to submit supporting documentation that demonstrates that their need for foreign workers is temporary.

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced that the temporary need requirement can be met instead by indicating the temporary need on the labor certification application (Form ETA-9142B).

The change is intended to reduce paperwork and streamline the H-2B visa process, according to the DOL. Employers had been submitting additional documentation such as payroll records, invoices and work contracts with their applications.

"The department notes that many employers use the H-2B visa program on a predictable and recurring seasonal business cycle, and these job opportunities were previously granted labor certification," the DOL said. "The additional documentation submitted by many employers, which is substantially similar from year to year for the same employer or a particular industry, creates an unnecessary burden for employers as well as the certifying officer, who must review all documents submitted with each application."

Looking Out for U.S. Workers

H-2B guest worker visas are meant for low-skilled nonagricultural workers. Employers seeking temporary labor certification under the H-2B visa program must establish that their need for that labor is temporary, as well as convince the DOL that employing foreign workers won't displace U.S. workers or adversely impact their wages and working conditions.

A temporary labor need can be categorized by one of the following four designations: one-time occurrence, seasonal, peak load or intermittent.

"The written statement should clearly explain the nature of the employer's business or operations, why the job opportunity and number of workers being requested for certification reflect a temporary need, and how the request for the services or labor to be performed meets one of the four regulatory standards of temporary need," the DOL said.

Registration System on the Way

Adjudication of an employer's temporary need will continue to occur during the application review until a registration process outlined in recently published regulations is implemented.

Once the registration system is set up, employers will only have to prove once that they have a temporary need.

Employers should keep any supporting documentation they would have otherwise submitted with their applications, and be prepared to provide that documentation if requested by the certifying officer, the DOL said. The application still includes a declaration, to be signed under penalty of perjury, confirming the employer's temporary need for H-2B guest workers.

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