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Regulatory Update – New Rules for Immigrant Visas

Last month, we posted information you need about North Carolina’s new overtime regulations. The package of new regulations set to take effect later this year also includes some changes to labor regulations concerning immigrant workers. Read on for more information.

Wage Increases

The Department of Labor (DOL) is planning to advance new wage regulations for immigrants in September. The new rules, which would raise wages for workers with H-1B visas and employment-based green cards, were originally planned to take effect last November. But judicial action has delayed its rollout.

H-2 Program Reforms

Both the DOL and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) plan to launch reforms of the H-2A and H-2B temporary worker programs this summer. The new regulatory package includes revised wage rules, upgrades to the temporary labor certification process and enhanced enforcement of H-2B employer obligations. The DOL also plans to amend the current H-2A temporary farmworker program to improve working conditions and protections.

Fee Increases

USCIS has proposed filing fee increases employment-based immigration petitions and applications, in part to help fund soaring asylum claims at the U.S.-Mexico border. The agency says the fee increases would allow it to “recover its operating costs, re-establish and maintain timely case processing, and prevent the accumulation of future case backlogs.” This would mark the first time USCIS has adjusted its fees since December 2016. If these plans are greenlighted in the next few months, they could take effect by the end of the year.

Virtual I-9 Inspection

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) plans to make permanent a rule allowing alternatives to in-person inspection documents relating to I-9 employment eligibility. These allowances, which were first introduced during the COVID-19 pandemic, permitted employers that were operating remotely to verify documentation through videoconferencing, fax, or e-mail.

Remember, Mega Force is dedicated to helping you navigate an ever-evolving regulatory landscape. Watch this space for updates on if and when new regulations take effect. And if you’re with a Asheboro company looking to expand your employee base, you can request candidates here.


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