Keeping Truckers on the Road:
On March 24, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) issued a Notice of Enforcement Policy and Waiver to address the delays caused by the disruption by the COVID-19 pandemic in renewing licenses. For drivers who had current credentials as of March 1 the actions by the FMSCA allows enforcement discretion in certain cases when a Commercial Learner’s Permit, CDL, or Medical Certificate has expired. The waiver expires on June 30, 2020.
Flexibility for State Limits on Truck Weights:
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act Phase 3 package included language allowing states the flexibility to issue special permits for overweight vehicles and loads to allow for the free flow of critical relief supplies during the current coronavirus epidemic for the duration of the fiscal year. NAFO joined other industries in signing a letter to Governors across the country asking states to increase truck weights on all U.S. highways and Federal Interstate Highways to a minimum of 88,000 pounds.
Expediting H-2 Visa Processing:
On March 26, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) provided an update on its partnership with the Department of Labor (DOL) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to expedite the processing of H-2 visas (includes H-2B). These changes allow the majority of H-2 visas of qualified applicants to be adjudicated without an interview. The measures to be implemented include:
- Authorization of consular officers to expand the categories of H-2 visa applicants whose applications can be adjudicated without an in-person interview. This expansion increases the period which a worker may qualify for an interview waiver whose permit expired from 12 to 48 months, providing the worker did not require a waiver of ineligibility the first time they applied and are applying for the same visa classification.
- Consular officers can, if they so choose, waive the visa interview requirement for first-time and returning H-2 applicants who have no potential ineligibility.
You will find a listing of FAQs here.