As reported earlier this week, the Department of Homeland Security published its final rule on accepting petitions for the newly released additional 30,000 H-2B visas for returning workers. The rule outlining the filing instructions has been published in the Federal Register.
Petitioners filing for additional visas must sign an attestation form attesting to the following items:
- Your business will suffer irreparable harm if you do not receive your H-2B workers;
- The workers you petition for have held H-2B status during one of the last three fiscal years (2016, 2017 or 2018).
If you are using an agency for your filings, please download and complete the attestation form and submit it to your agent. If you are filing your petition yourself, the form will need to be completed and submitted with your petition.
The attestation form can be downloaded here.
Page seven of the rule it says that "petitions submitted pursuant to the FY 2019 Omnibus will be processed in the order in which they were received." This leads one to believe that applications will be processed in the order which they are received but keep in mind this exactly the same language as the 2018 rule.
In 2018 USCIS held all applications for five days in order to determine if a lottery was necessary. The Seasonal Employment Alliance encourages petitioners to submit applications in as timely but keep in mind that there is a decent chance USCIS may hold a lottery if the demand exceeds the supply.
The SEA estimates that the demand for the visas will be in the 30,000 range, give or take a few thousand. The returning worker provision lessens the demand due to the lack of eligible returning workers.