USCIS has announced revisions to the Adjudicator's Field Manual (AFM) in light of recent changes to the H-2A agricultural and H-2B non-agricultural temporary worker programs. The revisions provide guidance for the processing and adjudication of Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker, when filed on behalf of H-2A and H-2B temporary workers. On December 18, 2008 and December 19, 2008, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued final rules that took effect in January 2009 concerning the H-2A and H-2B programs respectively. USCIS explained that the DHS H-2A and H-2B final rules remove certain limitations on H-2A and H-2B employers and adopt streamlining measures to facilitate the lawful employment of these foreign temporary workers.
USCIS further noted that the final rules address concerns regarding the integrity of the H-2A and H- 2B programs and set forth several conditions to prevent fraud and to protect laborers' rights. USCIS has revised the relevant chapters of the AFM to incorporate these changes to the H-2A and H-2B programs.