USCIS Provides Guidance for Implementing New Law Related to Foreign Workers on Guam, Northern Mariana Islands

USCIS has published a policy memorandum (PDF, 108 KB) providing guidance on the implementation of section 1045 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019 (the FY 2019 NDAA), which allows certain H-2B workers on Guam and in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) to qualify for an exemption to the “temporary need” requirement if they begin employment on or before Dec. 30, 2023.

USCIS is accepting H-2B petitions filed pursuant to the NDAA provision that exempts the temporary need requirement for certain health care workers on Guam and in the CNMI, as well as for workers directly connected to, or directly associated with, the planned military realignment of U.S. Marines from Okinawa, Japan, to Guam. The FY 2019 NDAA also eliminated the annual cap of 4,000 H-2B workers for Guam and the CNMI that were permitted to use the temporary need exemption.

The policy memorandum provides detailed information on how petitioners may demonstrate eligibility for the exemptions under the new law. Petitioners must continue to comply with other H-2B requirements including submission of an approved temporary labor certification issued by Guam’s Department of Labor or the U.S. Department of Labor, as appropriate. Employers on Guam and in the CNMI remain exempt from the national H-2B cap until Dec. 31, 2029. Additional general information about the H-2B program can be found on the H-2B Temporary Non-Agricultural Workers page.

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