How is the Department of Homeland Security Helping to Increase Food Security and Stabilize the U.S.

How is the Department of Homeland Security Helping to Increase Food Security and Stabilize the U.S. Supply Chain During Covid-19?

USCIS has taken temporary measures to change certain H-2B requirements in order to maintain essential infrastructure operations and reduce the impact from the Covid-19 public health emergency.

These temporary measures apply solely to aliens already here in the United States with a valid H-2B nonimmigrant status. The temporary final rule does not increase H-2B visas above the congressionally mandated 66,000 visa cap through the remainder of fiscal year 2020.

There are two flexibilities in the temporary final rule: First, the rule allows an H-2B employer to employ an H-2B nonimmigrant physically present in the United States while the H-2B petition on behalf of that nonimmigrant is still pending before USCIS. Second, the rule 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. It is not acceptable for employers to hire illegal aliens.

A petitioner seeking the flexibilities under this temporary final rule will be required to submit an attestation, swearing under penalty of perjury, that the H-2B worker will be performing temporary nonagricultural services or labor or that is essential to the U.S. food supply chain.

The temporary final rule is effective immediately upon publication in the Federal Register.

DHS previously announced similar protections for American agricultural employers in order to secure the nation’s food supply chain. The H-2B nonimmigrant classification applies to alien workers seeking to perform nonagricultural services or labor of a temporary nature in the United States, usually lasting no longer than one year, for which able, willing and qualified U.S. workers are not available.

For more information, please contact our office for a free telephone consultation (15 minute) at 248-557-3645.

Sevahn Merian

Associate Attorney, Immigration Law Department

The Law Offices of Joumana Kayrouz, PLLC

phone: (248) 557-3645 fax: (248) 200-0645


1000 Town Center, Suite 800 Southfield, MI 48075


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