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VisaPro expedites H-2B visas for over 100 foreign workers from 10 different countries

What do you do when the guests arrive and there are no bellhops to greet them and take their luggage, no one to meet them and seat them in the dining room, no one to serve their dinner, and no one to make up their room in the morning? Your vacation could quickly turn into a nightmare.

This was the very real possibility that faced our client, the company that runs a major resort every summer. D corporation maintains a year round staff of 10-15, but hires several hundred summer workers each year, including 125-150 foreign nationals. The company likes to hire US workers but just can't find enough people willing to work so far out of the way. The foreign nationals, coming from 10 different countries, enter the US on H-2B visas and fill positions as cooks, buffet attendants, bellhops, hosts and hostesses, and house keepers.

VisaPro started the H-2B process in mid-December as usual for a start date on April 15. We worked closely with the State Workforce Agency (SWA) to get the prevailing wages, hammer out the language for the ads and postings, and begin the recruitment process. We completed the recruitment, prepared our reports and submitted the packages to the SWA. We expected the labor certification applications to be forwarded to the Regional Certifying Officer shortly. Everything was on target and the employer started making plans for opening.

After a few days we noticed that all communication from the SWA ceased and nothing seemed to be happening with our applications. Our attempts to find out the status received silence, and we could get no reason for the delay. We were finally told that the State Labor Commissioner was refusing to forward the labor certification applications because he felt that the employer did not need foreign workers and he was going to find us all the US workers we needed.

At this point we knew we had entered uncharted territory. We, and nobody we knew, had ever had a SWA refuse to forward the labor certification to the DOL Regional Office. And even worse, in the 3+ weeks they held our applications, they only referred us 3 workers, not the 125 we needed, and which they promised us. When it became obvious that we would not be able to get anywhere with the SWA VisaPro went directly to the Regional Certifying Officer for assistance. At that time there were no procedures in place for dealing with the situation because the DOL Regional Office also had never had this problem.

This got so complicated that we had to involve State legislators' offices, State Governor's office, and US Congressperson's office. At the DOL, the matter was escalated all the way to Federal DOL headquarters in Washington, DC. After all these efforts, Federal DOL helped us forward copies of our applications directly to the Certifying Officer for certification. This eventually led to DOL developing a procedure that could be utilized in future.

VisaPro finally succeeded in getting all the labor certifications approved, received quick approval from USCIS, and almost all of the 100+ workers received their H-2B visas at the US consulates overseas.

The resort opened on time, albeit a little short-handed for the first few weeks, and had a very successful summer. On our side we met and overcame challenges that you only see once in a lifetime. We learned a lot, did what was necessary for our client, and were ultimately successful in getting the workers they needed.

Our experienced attorneys are able to review and analyze complex scenarios and formulate strategies for hiring foreign workers on H-2B visas.

If you are running a hotel, restaurant, park, entertainment center, resort, grocery store or any other facility that needs foreign workers for seasonal, one-time, or peak load situations we encourage you to Contact VisaPro to review your situation and discuss your options.