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May 13, 2020

H-2B Nonimmigrants in the Country with Valid Status Are Allowed to Extend Their Stay Beyond Three Years During Pandemic

Amy Jill Novak

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has issued an advance copy of a temporary final rule to be published and effective today, May 13, 2020. This rule is similar to a recently issued H-2A rule, posted and effective on April 20, 2020. The H-2B rule is effective through September 11, 2020.

DHS is temporarily removing certain limitations on employers or U.S. agents seeking to hire certain H-2B workers already in the United States to provide temporary labor or services essential to the U.S. food supply chain, and for certain H-2B workers, who are essential to the U.S. food supply chain, seeking to extend their stay.

The rule applies to those involved in the  processing, manufacturing, and packaging of human and animal food; transporting human and animal food from farms, or manufacturing or processing plants, to distributors and end sellers; and the selling of human and animal food through a variety of sellers or retail establishments, including restaurants. 

Specifically, the rule allows H-2B nonimmigrants in the country, in valid status, on or after March 1, 2020 to extend their stay beyond the normal three years.  As well as to begin work upon filing with USCIS, instead of upon approval by USCIS.

Should you have any questions if ​or how this affects your ​status, please do not hesitate to ​contact our office.

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