Employment Law Report
H-2B Temporary Worker Visa Changes
by Glen Krebs
Last January the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Labor made many changes in the H-2B visa application and enforcement process. Those changes are without the scope of this article, but interested readers may review the author’s article in the July 2009 issue of the Federal Lawyer magazine. This this short commentary will discuss a couple of other items relating to the H-2B visa. Before discussing these items, it is important to note that one of the major changes made in January is that the DOL’s Wage and Hour Division is now responsible for enforcement of the H-2B regulations. Other changes include:
The first new item relating to H-2B visas is that the government is inserting worker rights cards in the passports of foreign temporary seasonal workers entering the U.S. on the H-2B visa. The card is written in Spanish and briefly discusses legal protections for H-2B workers.
The second new item relates to the costs which must be paid by the employers of H-2B visa holders. On August 21, 2009 the Wage and Hour Division issued Field Assistance Bulletin No. 2009-2 which determines that employers must pay the cost of applying for the H-2B visa and the cost of transporting the employee from their home in Mexico to the work site in the United States. For further information regarding either of these items, please feel free to contact Glen Krebs (firstname.lastname@example.org).