DHS Announces Temporary Changes to H-2B Requirements Due to COVID-19
DHS announced a temporary final rule to change certain H-2B requirements in light of the COVID-19 public health emergency. The rule allows an H-2B employer to employ an H-2B nonimmigrant physically present in the United States while the employer’s H-2B petition on behalf of that nonimmigrant is still pending before USCIS. The temporary employment authorization will last for up to 60 days. The rule also allows H-2B workers essential to the U.S. food supply chain to stay beyond the three-year maximum allowable period of stay in the United States. This flexibility applies to petitions filed by the H-2B nonimmigrant’s current employer, as well as petitions filed by a potential new employer.