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Carnival & Fair News
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H2B Cap Met - Urgent Call To Action For all H2B Employers, Suppliers, Fairs and Events
Friday, March 2, 2018
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On March 1, 2018, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that the second half of the FY2018 H2B visa cap had been met.  The USCIS received 47,000 petitions for US workers by February 27, and chose to held a lottery to determine which employers would receive workers based on the cap amount of 33,000 visas.

Many US carnivals and concessionaires will not get their workers unless action is taken immediately.  Action should be taken not only by the companies depending on their seasonal workers, but also manufacturers, suppliers, fairs and festivals who also rely on the amusement industry.

Below is a copy of todays e-mail newsletter sent by JKJ Workforce regarding the current situation and what steps should be taken:


If you are an employer who was certified for the first half of the fiscal year, was filed for with USCIS, was approved by USCIS, have processed workers on your petition, if there are slots left on your petition those slots are still open and available for processing workers.  Please read this email, the cap does not apply to you this year, but to protect the entire H-2B community and to make sure that the program is viable for your company next year, please follow all steps in the emergency call to action that follows.

If you are an employer whose start date of need is April 1, 2018, your labor certificate application was filed on January 1, 2018 and you have been certified by the Department of Labor, then read this next section very carefully.  

You may have received your labor certificate in the mail saying you were approved. This does not mean that you are approved to actually get workers - all it means is that the Department of Labor has certified that you need temporary foreign workers, that you cannot find US workers for the positions and that if you were to hire temporary seasonal foreign workers and pay them according to the rules you would not negatively affect the wages or working conditions of US Workers similarly employed.  But this does NOT MEAN THAT YOU WILL ACTUALLY GET ANY FOREIGN WORKERS.

You may have received an email from me that said that we received your certificate and filed with US CIS in a timely manner.  In that email I may have stated that typically we receive a receipt notice within 72 hours and an approval within 15 days, and I also said that US CIS may change the way in which they process, so even if you received this email THIS DOES NOT MEAN THAT YOU WILL ACTUALLY GET ANY FOREIGN WORKERS.

You may have even phoned me after receiving the above mentioned email and I may have told you that I do not want to say that you will or will not get your people, because the Government has a history of making up rules as they go along – what they may have done last year, last week, or even yesterday – they may change on a moment's notice and our only option is to roll with the punches and figure out how we will all survive.

What USCIS has done is change the way that they are accepting petitions for H-2B workers for the second half of the fiscal year.  In the past, when they would accept all petitions submitted each day and when the cap hit would stop accepting any additional applications.  If your petition arrived at their office before the cap hit, you were in… if it arrived after the cap hit, you were out.

The announced yesterday that they had taken in applications that were submitted from February 21 to February 27.  There were 2,700 petitions filed requesting 47,000 positions for H-2B workers.  The cap is for 33,000.  In the past the "target figure" of the number of positions that they will accept for processing has ranged as high as 47,000 so they could have accepted all of these petitions for processing.  

But they are the Government.  And they make the rules up as they go along.  In this case they decided that they would hold some sort of secret lottery, accept enough petitions to meet their target figure (which they have not revealed but I believe they have cut it back to about 34,000 because they are the Government and can do all of this in secret and without any oversite) accept some petitions on a random basis and reject the others.

And this was all done on February 28th, without any advance notice to anyone.  
It was announced after the fact on March 1 as a done deal, with no means to appeal a rejection.  

There are a very limited number of employers who have received email notices that "Your Petition Was Accepted For Processing by USCIS".  If you are one of our clients and you received this email from my email account, you have beat the cap.  If you have not received this email from my email, then at this point in time it is not known if you beat the cap or not, but it would be safer to assume NO than YES.  Just because you received a notice from Department of Labor in the mail that said you were approved does NOT mean that your petition was accepted for processing by USCIS.  Only if you get an email from me (or from your agent) are you sure your petition has been accepted for processing.  If accepted by USCIS, you should get across the finish line and get approved and get workers (but no guarantees on anything).

Note: The California Service Center has sent out email notices on acceptances but as of the time I am sending this email the Vermont Service Center has not.  

Do you follow me up to this point?  If not, please email questions and I will try to clarify.

If your Department of Labor Application was submitted on January 2, 2018 or later, Department of Labor probably has not even looked at the application, you have not even gotten over the first hurdle and you are capped out and will not get workers unless there is cap relief.

NO MATTER WHICH CATEGORY YOU ARE IN ABOVE, THIS IS AN EMERGENCY REQUEST, ALL HANDS ON DECK, WE HAVE EXACTLY ONE WEEK, SEVEN DAYS, TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE AND GET CAP RELIEF.  
 
The only way this is going to happen is if we all make a massive impact on members of congress, overwhelm them with phone calls, faxes and emails.

We have a very specific ask for Congress.  

Attached is a draft letter to send to your Representative via FAX.


Do NOT send the DRAFT letters to anyone.  Open them up.  Cut and paste onto your company letterhead.  Customize each letter so that it reflects your business and your current situation, and is address to your members of Congress.

Do NOT NOT mail to anyone as there is NO TIME for it to be received in Washington and screened.  You must either FAX to your Representative and two Senators (and you can Fax it every day from now until March 9th) or hand deliver to the district offices of your members of congress.

THIS IS AN EMERGENCY REQUEST, IT IS A TRUE EMERGENCY, SO PLEASE DO NOT BLOW THIS EMAIL OFF AND ASSUME THAT SOMEONE ELSE WILL TAKE ACTION.  
If you are not able to customize the letter, please email me and I will do it for you.  I will do anything I can to assist you in this process but I need you to take action.  It has to come from YOU.  I want each and every one of you to confirm that this has been done TODAY!!  Please.





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