New immigration rules for temporary workers

The Kansas City Star

The U.S. Department of Labor on Friday issued new rules for the H-2B immigration program governing temporary, nonagricultural workers.

The department said the changes were designed to give U.S. workers greater access to jobs.

According to labor department rules, the H-2B program permits foreign workers to hold U.S. jobs on a temporary basis “when qualified U.S. workers are not available, and the employment of those foreign workers will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of U.S. workers.”

The program limits H-2B visas to 66,000 a year. Many of the visas are used to hire foreign-born high-tech, science and health care workers.

The new rules require:

• Creation of a national registry for all H-2B job postings.

• Lengthening the amount of time to recruit U.S. workers before hiring H-2B workers.

Rehiring former U.S. employees, when available, before filling jobs with H-2B workers.

Department of Labor officials said the rules are expected to provide “enhanced transparency throughout the employment process.”

The rules become effective April 23. They can be viewed online at and will be published Feb. 21 in the Federal Register.

New immigration rules for temporary workers -