H2B Paper Work
H2 Express specializes in completing paperwork to allow you to bring foreign temporary workers to assist in your small business. The program is becoming more highly regulated and has specific requirements that need to be considered before committing to the program. Wage rates will always be higher than local existing wage rates. Employers are required to pay all expenses in travel to and from the worksite, as well as expenses associated with acquiring the visa. Transportation to worksites is also paid by the employer. Housing is still paid by the employee. The contract can only be 10 months maximum, and can only be extended in special circumstances. It must be renewed annually.
Is The Program Right For You?
The first step in the process will be sure that the H-2B program can fulfill the needs of your enterprise. H2 Express staff will discuss your enterprise and its labor needs to determine if the program is right for you. We will explore the temporary need you have, qualifications required for the job, and how the required wage rate and benefits could affect other workers in the operation. We will discuss recurring needs and a detailed job description. Sometimes the program is a natural fit, and other times one must think creatively how to make a contract fit the guidelines.
Consider Record Keeping
The program has some strict record keeping requirements that must be adhered too. Sometimes this can be viewed as very burdensome, but doing it properly will make audits much easier. H2 Express has developed a record keeper’s packet that is helpful to be sure one has everything needed. From the beginning, one needs to make a commitment before electing to participate in the program that the proper record keeping will be done.
THE PAPERWORK PROCESS:
H2 Express has a detailed, but easy to understand service agreement where one can choose assistance through the process, or to have a full package of help. Once a company has chosen to work with H2 Express, an account is set up, a down payment is made, and a personal account monitoring site is set up for the customer to follow the progress of his or her case. Notes of what is needed from the customer will be posted along with a projected time line for completing the application. Customers can log on to their account any time to see where they are at in the process. H2 Express makes every effort to have things completed, but sometimes governmental delays out of our control can occur.
Prevailing Wage Request
The first step in completing an H-2B application is to file a prevailing wage request. I recommend that this be done about five months before workers are needed. This is because the process can take up to two months to complete. The department of labor considers geographical location and the type of work when making the determination. Most people consider the wages to be much higher than they should be. You need to check this wage rate before you decide to participate and continue with the application. All employees with the same job will become subject to the same wage rate.
Submit A Job Order To The State Workforce Agency (SWA)
The data from the prevailing wage request and the prevailing wage itself are used to develop a job order, or job listing. The job order outlines in detail the description of the job and its associated conditions. The content is mandated by the department of labor, and will be written and corrected as needed to comply with regulations governing the program. This job order is submitted to the state SWA at the same time it is submitted to the USDOL.
Approval From Federal DOL (USDOL)
The first step in the process takes place 75 to 90 days before date of need. During that time, an ETA 9142 is filled out and the job order submitted with a few other documents. An important group of documents is that which includes proof of the temporary nature of the job and a history of the company must be submitted. Examples of documents needed include a payroll summary for 2 years (or projection in the case of new companies), invoices, contracts, income summaries, etc. This information is sensitive and determines if you will be allowed to participate in the program. H2 Express can guide you in this process and help write the narrative if you can be interviewed. Other papers submitted include the agent agreement, a recruiter agreement, and program assurances. The DOL will only allow an emergency application once every few years for a company. Still, the emergency application will have a start date 45 days after the date of submission.
The analysts in the Federal (Chicago) office will review the application and request we make any changes they desire. After corrections and changes are made, the application is accepted and advertising instructions are issued. H2 Express will write required newspaper ads for the customer to send out. After the advertising period, H2 express will submit a recruitment report and if accepted, the USDOL office will issue a certification.
Approval From US Immigration (USCIS)
After the certification is received, H2 Express will fill out form I-129 to get the paperwork needed to make appointments in the consulate. If experience is required, we must name workers and give 7 years worth of their immigration history including 3 years worth of printed documentation of when they were here. If no experience is required, workers do not have to be named. This process takes from 2 weeks to 2 months depending on the service requested, and workload that USCIS has at the time. Premium processing can speed up the process.
Appointments At Consulate
The USCIS will send form I-797C as the first step. This will show that the application is received, and that it is in process. If they require additional information, they will send I-797E which we will answer. Once I-797B is received, appointments can be made for workers at the consulate. The time required to get an appointment varies by time of the year and the country from where the workers will arrive. Once visas have been issued, the workers may come to the US.
H2 Express will assist with audits at no extra charge.
Link to join: http://ssblc.org/member-application/