USCIS Grants One-Time Accommodation for H-2A Sheepherders
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it will allow H-2A sheepherders more time to fully transition to the three-year limitation of stay requirements under the agency’s final rule that became effective on January 17, 2009. USCIS said it is making the one-time accommodation in deference to the industry’s previous exemption from the three-year limitation. This exemption does not impact other H-2A categories. The time spent as an H-2A worker performing labor or services as a sheepherder before the effective date of the final rule will not be counted toward the three-year maximum period of stay, USCIS said. Instead, the agency is “starting the clock” on January 17, 2009, for sheepherders who were lawfully present in the U.S. in H-2A classification on that date.