U.S. Declares an Additional 20,000 H-2B Visas to Help Employers Fill Seasonal Jobs – Act Fast!
The U.S. will grant an additional 20,000 H-2B visas for the first half of the fiscal year to address the labor shortage. The move is intended to provide relief to U.S. employers having difficulty finding employees.
The H-2B nonimmigrant program permits employers to temporarily hire nonimmigrants to perform nonagricultural labor or services in the United States. The employment must be of a temporary nature for a limited period of time such as a one-time occurrence, seasonal need, peak load need or intermittent need. The H-2B program requires the employer to attest to the Department of Labor that it will offer a wage that equals or exceeds the highest of the prevailing wage, applicable Federal minimum wage, the State minimum wage, or local minimum wage to the H-2B nonimmigrant worker for the occupation in the area of intended employment during the entire period of the approved H-2B labor certification. The H-2B program also establishes certain recruitment and displacement standards in order to protect similarly employed U.S. workers.
In a statement by the Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. government hopes that the additional visas will help the U.S. employers that are facing irreparable harm if they cannot get additional workers on or before March 31, 2022. Secretary of Homeland Secretary, Alejadro Mayorkas stated, “We are providing employers with the resources and support needed to sustain their businesses while expanding lawful pathways to the United States”.
This supplemental cap increase, which comes at a time of record job growth and reduced labor force participation, marks the first time that DHS is making additional H-2B visas available in the first half of the fiscal year. DHS first announced the joint temporary final rule in December 2021. The additional H-2B visas will become available to employers on January 28, 2022.
The supplemental H-2B visa allocation consists of 13,500 available to returning workers who received an H-2B visa or were otherwise granted H-2B status, during one of the last three fiscal years. The remaining 6,500 visas are for people from Haiti, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras.
The joint temporary final rule can be found HERE
If you or your company have questions about H-2B visas or any aspect of employment-based immigration law, call me at 616-233-9300 for a consultation.