[Federal Register Volume 73, Number 245 (Friday, December 19, 2008)]
[Notices]
[Pages 77816-77817]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E8-30098]



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DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

[CIS No. 2464-08; DHS Docket No. USCIS-2008-0073]
RIN 1615-ZA76


H-2B Petitioner's Employment-Related or Fee-Related Notification

AGENCY: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, DHS.

ACTION: Notice.

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SUMMARY: This Notice announces the manner in which H-2B petitioners 
must notify U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services regarding their 
employment of non-agricultural workers in H-2B nonimmigrant status or 
job placement fee information. These procedures are necessary to enable 
petitioners to comply with the notification requirements established by 
the Department of Homeland Security's regulations governing the H-2B 
nonimmigrant classification.

DATES: This Notice is effective January 18, 2009.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Hiroko Witherow, Service Center 
Operations, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Department of 
Homeland Security, 20 Massachusetts Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20529, 
telephone (202) 272-8410.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background

    The H-2B nonimmigrant classification applies to alien workers 
seeking to perform non-agricultural labor or services of a temporary 
nature in the United States on a temporary basis. Immigration and 
Nationality Act (INA) sec. 101(a)(15)(H)(ii)(b), 8 U.S.C. 
1101(a)(15)(H)(ii)(b); see 8 CFR 214.1(a)(2) (H-2B classification 
designation). Aliens seeking H-2B nonimmigrant status must be 
petitioned for by a U.S. employer. However, prior to filing the 
petition, the U.S. employer must complete a temporary labor 
certification process with the Department of Labor (DOL) for the job 
opening the employer seeks to fill with an H-2B worker.
    After receiving a temporary labor certification, the U.S. employer 
files Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker, with the 
appropriate USCIS office to classify the beneficiary as an H-2B 
nonimmigrant. See 8 CFR 214.2(h)(5)(i)(A). Once the petition has been 
granted, the regulations impose additional responsibilities on H-2B 
petitioners. These responsibilities include notifying DHS of certain 
occurrences related to their H-2B workers, as discussed below.

A. Employment-Related Notifications.

    The regulations require H-2B petitioners to provide notification to 
DHS within 2 work days in the following instances:
     When an H-2B worker fails to report to work within 5 work 
days of the employment start date on the H-2B petition;
     When the temporary labor or services for which H-2B 
workers were hired is completed more than 30 days early; or
     When the H-2B worker absconds from the worksite or is 
terminated prior to the completion of the temporary labor or services 
for which he or she was hired.

8 CFR 214.2(h)(6)(i)(F). The regulations also require that petitioners 
retain evidence of the notification filed with DHS for a one-year 
period beginning from the date of the notification. 8 CFR 
214.2(h)(6)(i)(F)(1).

B. Fee-Related Notifications.

    The regulations prohibit payment or agreement to pay a fee or other 
compensation by a beneficiary to any facilitator, recruiter, or similar 
employment service as a condition of the offer of obtaining the H-2B 
employment. 8 CFR 214.2(h)(6)(i)(B). However, the regulations provide 
petitioners with the opportunity to avoid denial or revocation (on 
notice) of their H-2B petition if they notify DHS regarding information 
they obtained following the filing of their H-2B petition concerning 
the beneficiary's payment of prohibited fees. 8 CFR 
214.2(h)(6)(i)(B)(4). Notification of a beneficiary's payment or 
agreement to pay the prohibited fees must be made within 2 work days of 
the petitioner gaining such knowledge. Id.
    This Notice specifies the manner in which H-2B petitioners must 
file employment-related and fee-related notifications with DHS in order 
to comply with the regulations. 8 CFR 214.2(h)(6)(i)(F) and 8 CFR 
214.2(h)(6)(i)(B)(4).

II. Employment-Related Notifications

A. Filing Notifications.

    This Notice announces that beginning on January 18, 2009, H-2B 
petitioners must notify USCIS within 2 work days of an event specified 
in 8 CFR 214.2(h)(6)(i)(F)(1). The petitioner must include the 
following information in the notification.
    (1) The reason for the notification;
    (2) The reason for late notification, if applicable;
    (3) The USCIS receipt number of the approved H-2B petition;
    (4) The petitioner's name, address, telephone number, and employer 
identification number (EIN);
    (5) The employer's name, address, and telephone number, if it is 
different from that of the petitioner;
    (6) The name of the applicable H-2B worker;
    (7) The date and place of birth of the subject H-2B worker; and
    (8) The last known physical address and telephone number of the 
subject H-2B worker.
    If all of the above information is not available, the employer must 
provide as much and as complete information as possible. USCIS 
acknowledges that petitioners may not know the names of the no-show H-
2B workers if the workers are unnamed beneficiaries of the H-2B 
petition. Where an H-2B petitioner is reporting the failure of an H-2B 
worker to report to work within the prescribed time frame and the 
beneficiaries are unnamed, the petitioner must supply the number of 
workers who failed to report to work within the prescribed time frame, 
plus any of the additional items above that may be known or available.
    Notices from employers should be provided to USCIS by e-mail. If e-
mail notification is not possible paper notification via mail is 
acceptable. Notification by mail must be postmarked before the end of 
the 2 work day reporting window.
    If the H-2B petition was approved by California Service Center:
    By e-mail: CSC-X.H-2BAbs@dhs.gov.
    By mail: California Service Center, Attn: Div X/BCU ACD, P.O. Box 
30050, Laguna Niguel, CA 92607-3004.
    If the H-2B petition was approved by Vermont Service Center:
    By e-mail:VSC.H2BABS@dhs.gov.
    By mail: Vermont Service Center, Attn: BCU ACD, 63 Lower Welden 
St., St. Albans, VT 05479.

III. Fee-Related Notifications

    This Notice announces that on January 18, 2009, H-2B petitioners 
may begin filing beneficiary-paid fee notifications to USCIS pursuant 
to 8 CFR 214.2(h)(6)(i)(B)(4). The notification must include the 
following information:
    (1) The USCIS receipt number of the H-2B petition;
    (2) The petitioner's name, address, and telephone number;
    (3) The employer's name, address, and telephone number, if it is 
different from that of the petitioner; and the

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    (4) Name and address of the facilitator, recruiter, or placement 
service to which alien beneficiaries paid or agreed to pay the 
prohibited fees.
    The petitioner should submit notices to USCIS by e-mail. If e-mail 
notification is not feasible for the H-2B petitioner, paper 
notification via mail is acceptable. Notices should be sent to the 
following addresses. Notification by mail must be postmarked before the 
end of the 2 work day reporting window.
    If the H-2B petition was approved by California Service Center:
    By e-mail: CSC.H2BFee@dhs.gov.
    By mail: California Service Center, Attn: H2BFee, P.O. Box 10695, 
Laguna Niguel, CA 92607-1095.
    If the H-2B petition was approved by Vermont Service Center:
    By e-mail: VSC.H2BPROPLACEMENT@dhs.gov.
    By mail: Vermont Service Center, Attn: BCU ACD, 75 Lower Welden 
St., St. Albans, VT 05479.

IV. Paperwork Reduction Act

    This Notice sets forth the procedures for H-2B petitioners to 
notify USCIS when:
     An H-2B worker fails to report to work within 5 work days 
of the employment start date on the H-2B petition;
     When the temporary labor or services for which H-2B 
workers were hired is completed more than 30 days early; or
     When the H-2B worker absconds from the worksite or is 
terminated prior to the completion of the temporary labor or services 
for which he or she was hired.
    Regulations require H-2B petitioners to retain evidence of such 
notification sent to USCIS for a one-year period.
    This Notice further provides the procedures for H-2B petitioners to 
notify USCIS, after an H-2B petition has been filed, within 2 work days 
of learning that an H-2B alien worker paid a fee or other compensation 
to a facilitator, recruiter, or similar employment service as a 
condition of the offer of obtaining the H-2B employment.
    These notification requirements are considered information 
collections covered under the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA).
    Since implementation will begin 30 days from the date of 
publication of this notice in the Federal Register, this new 
information collection has been submitted and approved by OMB under the 
emergency review and clearance procedures covered under the PRA. USCIS 
is requesting comments on this new information collection no later than 
January 18, 2009. When submitting comments on the information 
collection, your comments should address one or more of the following 
four points:
    (1) Evaluate whether the collection of information is necessary for 
the proper performance of the agency, including whether the information 
will have practical utility;
    (2) Evaluate the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of 
the collection of information, including the validity of the 
methodology and assumptions used;
    (3) Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to 
be collected; and
    (4) Minimize the burden of the collection of the information on 
those who are to respond, including through the use of any and all 
appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological 
collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., 
permitting electronic submission of responses.

Overview of Information Collection

    a. Type of information collection: New information collection.
    b. Title of Form/Collection: H-2B Petitioner's Employment-Related 
or Fee-Related Notification.
    c. Agency form number, if any, and the applicable component of the 
Department of Homeland Security sponsoring the collection: No form 
number. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
    d. Affected public who will be asked or required to respond, as 
well as a brief abstract: Individuals or Households. This information 
collection is necessary to provide employment-related or fee-related 
notification by an H-2B petitioner.
    e. An estimate of the total number of respondents and the amount of 
time estimated for an average respondent to respond: 700 respondents at 
.50 hours (30 minutes) per response.
    f. An estimate of the total of public burden (in hours) associated 
with the collection: Approximately 350 burden hours.
    All comments and suggestions or questions regarding additional 
information should be directed to the Department of Homeland Security, 
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Chief, Regulatory Management 
Division, 111 Massachusetts Avenue, NW., 3rd Floor, Washington, DC 
20529-2210, Attention: 202-272-8377.

Paul A. Schneider,
Deputy Secretary.
 [FR Doc. E8-30098 Filed 12-18-08; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 9117-97-P