President Extends Staggered Crossings of Seafood Workers Through December 11, 2014
On January 17, 2014, President Barack Obama signed into law the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2014, which included a provision permitting the staggered entry of H-2B workers employed by seafood industry employers under certain conditions. Following passage of the Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2015, this provision was extended to December 11, 2014. Accordingly, no staggered entry of H-2B workers after December 11, 2014, will be permitted absent further legislative extensions.
To use the “staggered crossing” provision, seafood industry employers must download, complete, and sign the official attestation and provide it to the H-2B nonimmigrant worker for presentation, upon request, to Department of State consular officers and/or the Department of Homeland Security’s Customs and Border Protection officers.
According to a related FAQ, all employers submitting an H-2B application for temporary employment certification must accurately indicate their temporary need, including the starting and ending dates of need for the period in which they intend to employ H-2B nonimmigrant workers. However, the 2014 Appropriations Act permits employers in the seafood industry to bring into the United States, in accordance with an approved H-2B petition, nonimmigrant workers at any time during the 120-day period on or after the employer’s certified start date of need, if certain conditions are met.
The 2014 Appropriations Act contained two primary conditions that employers must meet. First, the rule applies only to employers engaged in a business in the seafood industry that permit or require their H-2B nonimmigrant workers to enter the United States up to 120 days after the certified start date of need. Second, any seafood industry employer that permits or requires its H-2B nonimmigrant workers to enter the United States between 90 and 120 days after the certified start date of need must complete a new assessment of the local labor market during the period that begins at least 45 days after the certified start date of need and ends before the 90th day after the certified start date of need.
Seafood industry employers who conduct the additional recruitment required by the 2014 Appropriations Act should not submit proof of the additional recruitment to the Office of Foreign Labor Certification. Instead, they must retain the additional recruitment documentation, along with their pre-filing recruitment documentation, for three years from the date of certification.