Labor Dept. Extends Emergency Procedures for Backlogged H-2B Applications Through April 29
The Department of Labor’s Office of Foreign Labor Certification (OFLC) continues to experience significant delays in processing employers’ H-2B applications for certification and is therefore extending the availability of emergency procedures through April 29, 2016. OFLC explained that the delays have been generated by several factors, the most significant of which was a 17-day certification processing pause at the Chicago National Processing Center (CNPC) needed for OFLC to implement changes to comply with revisions to the H-2B prevailing wage and certification standards under an appropriations law Congress passed in late 2015.
OFLC said the delays in the certification process that applicants are continuing to experience “impair the ability of employers to hire foreign workers when needed, and create instability for small businesses that depend on temporary and seasonal workers.” OFLC has concluded that the delays still preventing the timely processing of H-2B applications “constitute good and substantial cause under 20 CFR § 655.17 for employers to request emergency procedures of their currently pending applications.”
Therefore, OFLC said, employers with pending H-2B applications will be able to continue to request the emergency procedures under 20 CFR § 655.17 through April 29, 2016, so that CNPC can address the current application processing backlog.
- The announcement (scroll to March 28).
- The full announcement of the emergency procedures initiative and details on how employers can continue to participate (PDF)