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USCIS Announces Flexibility in H-2B Program for International Workers Deemed Essential to U.S. Food

Updated: Aug 1, 2022

USCIS recently relaxed some parts of the H-2B program for workers in industries deemed essential to the U.S. Food Supply Chain.

What is the H-2B Program?

The H-2B program is utilized to hire foreign nationals for temporary/seasonal work where the employer can prove there are no able, willing, qualified, and available U.S. workers for the positions. The H-2B program, like all other work visa programs, has strict rules on changing employment and limits to how long they may work in the U.S. year-after-year.

Why is this important?

The temporary rule changes allow for H-2B workers in qualifying industries/positions to start work on the requested start date as soon as USCIS has receives the H-2B petition, instead of waiting for an approval. It also allows a temporary extension of the three-year maximum allowable period in the U.S. Some examples of positions/industries that USCIS deems “essential to the U.S. food supply chain”, include: food processing, manufacturing and packaging; food transportation from processing plants to distributors and end sellers; or work involved in selling food through retail establishments, including restaurants. The rule is expected to be in effect through September 2020.

Danielle Atchison


NOT LEGAL ADVICE: This article is for educational purposes only, it is not legal advice that may be applicable to our situation

The information provided here does not constitute legal advice. It is general information regarding law and policy that may be applicable to your particular HR issue or legal problem. Information provided in this blog, or any of our other public posts, does not create an attorney-client relationship. For specific advice you can rely upon, please contact your attorney.

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