The White House Office of Management and Budget is reviewing two proposed regulations designed to update H-2 visa programs. The text of the proposals is not yet available, but OMB review is the last step in the rule-making process before they can be published.

The proposed regulations are designed to:

  • Modernize and reform the H-2 visa programs. The Department of Homeland Security plans to issue a proposed rule to “modernize and reform” the H-2A and H-2B nonimmigrant worker programs. The changes would be aimed at reducing inefficiencies, enhancing pay protections and addressing “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.” The rule would not revise the temporary labor certification process.
  • Improve protections for temporary agricultural workers. The Department of Labor plans to issue a proposed rule designed to improve working conditions and protections for temporary agricultural workers in the United States, including U.S. workers and H-2A foreign workers. DOL said the “use of the H-2A program has grown substantially in recent years and the Department is committed to protecting agricultural workers in light of their significant vulnerabilities.”

Additional Information: Both regulations will be published as proposed rules, meaning they will go through a notice-and-comment period before they are updated and published as final rules. BAL will continue following the development of these regulations and will provide updates on how they will impact H-2A and H-2B employers.

This alert has been provided by the BAL U.S. Practice Group. For additional information, please contact

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