The rule requiring employers who want to hire nonimmigrant H-2B visa holders for seasonal jobs to advertise the openings in newspaper ads may end soon, according to an article on the HR Dive website. The White House’s Office of Management and Budget has completed its review of a proposed rule that would end the requirement.
Employers will still need to advertise their job openings, but they’ll be able to do it via digital media.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security, in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Labor, published a joint notice of proposed rulemaking aimed at “modernizing ... recruiting requirements.” The proposed rule would require employers to post electronic job ads for at least 14 days to give U.S. workers a chance to apply. The online ads would need to be posted “on websites that U.S. workers in the area of the job opportunity would use.”
DHS said in a media release that electronic ads are “a more effective and efficient way to disseminate information about job openings to U.S. workers.” If finalized in its current form, the rule will provide a transition period that would allow employers time to make the switch from print to electronic ads.
The demand for H-2B visas has been so high that the congressionally mandated cap of 33,000 visa petitions for the second half of fiscal year 2019 had already been met by February. In response to the demand, DHS released an additional 30,000 H-2B visas back in May. However, the extra visas were limited to current H-2B visa holders or those who were granted H-2B visas in fiscal years 2016, 2017 or 2018.
DHS stated that employers who claimed to suffer “irreparable harm” from the seasonal-worker shortage can ask for supplemental visas. However, those supplemental visas would only be given to seasonal workers that already had H-2B status, according to the story.
Requiring employers to advertise their seasonal job openings is intended to encourage employers to hire U.S. workers before opting for guest workers. This puts additional pressure on landscape companies and other employers such as the hospitality industry that use seasonal help. These industries have been particularly hard hit by the talent shortage.