Court denies a temporary restraining order against US Department of Labor officials over H-2B processing; an employer pays more than $20,000 for H-2B program violations and a woman has been indicted over alleged $2 million visa fraud scheme.

H-2B restraining order denied. An Orlando landscaping company and an Englewood, Florida, restaurant have been denied a temporary restraining against the US Department of Labor’s “lottery selection process” for review of H-2B foreign worker applications, the Florida Record reports.

The DOL implemented the lottery process after it received a high number of applicants that crashed the department’s electronic filing system in January. The plaintiffs also argue that the DOL violated the Administrative Procedures Act by circumventing the act’s “notice and comment rule making requirements” when it labeled the proposed H2-B visa application process change as a “procedural rule” to avoid the need for congressional approval of the change, according to the article.

H-2B employer penalities. An Arkansas construction firm as paid $20,312 to settle H-2B non-immigrant visa program violations, the US Department of Labor announced. Gonzalez Rebar LLC, based in Lake Village, Arkansas, violated the program by failing to comply with the prohibition against preferential treatment when it offered H-2B workers more favorable terms, including free transportation to and from work, free housing, and a range of pay rates — none of which the employer offered to US workers. Additionally, Gonzales Rebar LLC failed to post and maintain a notice of worker rights in a conspicuous location that sets out the rights and protections for H-2B workers and US workers.

“The US Department of Labor ensures employers satisfy the obligations they agree to in temporary employment certifications and prevent practices that prefer foreign workers over qualified local candidates,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Hanz Grünauer, in Little Rock, Arkansas. “The department is committed to safeguarding American jobs and leveling the playing field for employers.”

H-1B visa fraud. A Chinese woman who first came to the US on a student visa was indicted last week for an alleged visa fraud scheme that allowed more than 2,500 Chinese nationals — including a purported spy for the Chinese government — to improperly apply to extend their stays in the US, The (San Jose, California) Mercury News reports.

Federal authorities allege Weiyun “Kelly” Huang, 30, brought in about $2 million through a scam involving H-1B visas and student work permits to provide fake documents claiming foreign citizens were employed by her companies, so they could stay in the US.