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DHS/USCIS RIN: 1615-AC76 Publication ID: Fall 2022 
Title: Modernization and Reform of the H-2 Programs 

DHS plans to issue a notice of proposed rulemaking that will modernize and reform the H-2A and H-2B nonimmigrant worker programs. DHS will propose to incorporate policies that produce program efficiencies, address current aspects of the program that may unintentionally result in exploitation or other abuse of persons seeking to come to this country as H-2A and H-2B workers, build upon existing protections against prohibited payments or other assessment of fees and/or salary deductions by H-2A and H-2B workers in connection with recruitment and/or employment, and otherwise add protections for workers. This rule would not revise the temporary labor certification process or the regulations contained in 20 CFR part 655 or 29 CFR part 501 and 503.

Agency: Department of Homeland Security(DHS)  Priority: Other Significant 
RIN Status: Previously published in the Unified Agenda Agenda Stage of Rulemaking: Proposed Rule Stage 
Major: Undetermined  Unfunded Mandates: Undetermined 
CFR Citation: 8 CFR 214    8 CFR 274a     (To search for a specific CFR, visit the Code of Federal Regulations.)
Legal Authority: 8 U.S.C. 1103(a)(3)    8 U.S.C. 1001(a)(15)(H)(ii)(a) and (b)    8 U.S.C. 1184(a), (c) and (g)   
Legal Deadline:  None

Statement of Need:

This rulemaking is needed to enhance protections for workers and better ensure the integrity of the H-2A and H-2B programs. In addition, this proposed rule is necessary to improve H-2 program efficiencies and remove certain barriers to program access.

Summary of the Legal Basis:

The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) charges the Secretary of Homeland Security with the administration and enforcement of the immigration laws and provides that the Secretary shall establish such regulations and perform such other acts as he deems necessary for carrying out his authority under the INA. See INA section 103(a)(1),(3), 8 U.S.C. 1103(a)(1), (3). In addition, the Homeland Security Act of 2002, also charges the Secretary with establishing and administering rules governing the granting of visas or other forms of permission to enter the United States to individuals who are not a citizen, or an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence in the United States. See Public Law 107-296, 116 Stat. 2135, 6 U.S.C. 202(4). With respect to nonimmigrants in particular, the INA provides that the admission to the United States of any alien as a nonimmigrant shall be for such time and under such conditions as the Secretary may by regulations prescribe. See INA section 214(a)(1), 8 U.S.C. 1184(a)(1). The INA also tasks DHS with approving petitions filed by the importing employers of nonimmigrants, including those in the H nonimmigrant visa classification, before a nonimmigrant visa may be granted. See INA section 214(c)(1), 8 U.S.C. 1184(c)(1).

Anticipated Costs and Benefits:

DHS is currently considering the specific cost and benefit impacts of the proposed provisions.

Action Date FR Cite
NPRM  09/00/2023 
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: Undetermined  Government Levels Affected: Undetermined 
Federalism: Undetermined 
Included in the Regulatory Plan: Yes 
RIN Data Printed in the FR: No 
Agency Contact:
Charles Nimick
Chief, Business and Foreign Workers Division, Office of Policy and Strategy
Department of Homeland Security
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
5900 Capital Gateway Drive, Suite 4S190,
Camp Springs, MD 20588-0009
Phone:240 721-3000