Mark A Ivener, A Law Corporation

USCIS Clarifies Regulatory Requirements for Filing H-2B Petitions by Certain Associations and Their Members

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued a clarification on August 28, 2009, to associations and their members of certain regulatory requirements for filing petitions for H-2B classification on behalf of foreign workers. USCIS said it has noticed a particular type of filing error in many H-2B petitions filed by certain associations on behalf of their members. Rather than filing an individual petition with USCIS, some employers who are members of an association have sought H-2B non-agricultural workers via a “master” petition filed by their association.

USCIS noted that a “master” petition is a petition that:

  • Is filed by an association (listing the association as petitioner) on behalf of several of its member-employers; and
  • Includes multiple temporary labor certifications that have been issued by the Department of Labor (DOL) for each individual member-employer, rather than a single temporary labor certification certified for the particular association itself as an employer or “joint employer.”

USCIS said it recognizes that the facts of each case may be different, but that association member-employers generally should file a petition for H-2B classification directly and separately (listing themselves as the petitioner) with USCIS, rather than through a “master” petition filed by an association (listing the association as the petitioner) on behalf of several of its members. Petitions filed by associations that fail to meet the petitioner requirements for H-2B classification will be denied, USCIS warned.

The clarification, which includes discussion and analysis of the reasons why H-2B petitions filed by associations on behalf of their employer members generally would not qualify for H-2B classification, is available as a PDF.

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Mark A. Ivener, A Law Corporation, a nationally recognized law firm, has successfully assisted hundreds of clients in immigration matters.