On April 2, 2013, the USCIS announced that it will temporarily suspend the adjudication of certain Form I-129 H-2B petitions for temporary non-agricultural workers as the federal government considers its response to the Court order entered in Comite de Apoyo a los Trabajadores Agricolas el al. v. Solis, 2:09-cv-00240-LDD (E.D. Pa). The Court ruling granted a permanent injunction against a portion of the 2008 wage rule related to certain prevailing wage determinations and afforded the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) 30 days to come into compliance. As a result, the DOL announced that it can no longer make prevailing wage determinations based on the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) wage survey and will promulgate a revised wage rule within 30 days of the order. Petitions involving prevailing wage determinations based on Collective Bargaining Agreements, acceptable private wage surveys, Service Contract or Davis Bacon Act wages, and temporary labor certifications (TLCs) issued by the Guam Department of Labor (GDOL) will not be affected.

In accordance with its temporary suspension of processing of all H-2B cases accompanied by TLCs based on the OES wage survey, the USCIS will issue notices on all pending petitions in order to determine the source of the prevailing wage determination (PWD). In addition, the agency has suspended premium processing for all H-2B petitions and will issue refunds to petitioners with pending premium processing cases. The USCIS is expected to resume the adjudication of all H-2B petitions after the promulgation of a revised prevailing wage rule.

For additional information about the USCIS’ announcement, please click here.