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Looking to Hire Under an H-2 Visa? You No Longer Need to Take Out a Newspaper Ad.

Roofer putting shingles on a house
By Joseph Fawbush, Esq. on November 15, 2019 11:40 AM

Employers no longer must post job descriptions in the newspaper when hiring workers under the H-2B visa program, the Department of Labor (DOL) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) have decided in a new rule. Previously, employers had to post notification of the job in a print newspaper in general circulation in the area in which the job was to be fulfilled.

The agencies posted a final rule rescinding the requirement on November 15. The rule takes effect on December 16.

In September, the DOL issued a similar rule regarding H-2A visas for agricultural workers. H-2B visas are for temporary, non-agricultural seasonal workers. Approximately 80 percent of H-2B visas go to people from Mexico and Central America who work seasonally, often in landscaping, construction or the hospitality industry, which may see an uptick in work need during peak times of the year.

Part of an Overall Effort to Make Seasonal Work Visas Easier?

This past April, the Department of Homeland Security nearly doubled the number of H-2B visas it would grant over the summer. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is no longer accepting H-2B visa applications for 2019, but granted more this year than at any time since 2007. The DHS gave the additional visas to applicants who were prior H-2B visa holders.

The Trump Administration has argued that seasonal work visas are required to fill the millions of current open jobs in the U.S. Increasing the number of visas and streamlining the application process would support that goal.

Modernizing the Requirements

Job applicants more often search online for open positions, rather than in print ads. The federal agencies felt the print rule was outdated.

Originally, the rule would have required employers themselves to post the jobs online. Instead, the DOL will post the job on behalf of employers who apply for H-2B visas on its website, SeasonalJobs.dol.gov. The site is integrated with third-party job sites and is mobile-friendly. According to the federal agencies, the rule “modernizes and improves the labor market test that DOL uses to assess whether qualified U.S. workers are available."

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