- DHS has announced plans to issue an additional 64,716 supplemental H-2B visas this fiscal year
- The supplemental visas are in addition to the 66,000 H-2B visas DHS usually issues
- DHS is reserving some supplemental visas for workers from designated countries
- The additional H-2B visa allocation is the maximum amount permitted by law
- DHS hopes to alleviate seasonal worker shortages and reduce irregular immigration
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has announced plans to issue an additional 64,716 H-2B supplemental visas this fiscal year, which is the maximum amount permitted.
Typically, DHS issues 66,000 H-2B visas under the regular H-2B cap. Of that amount, 33,000 visas are available in the first half of each fiscal year, which begins on October 1, and the remaining 33,000 visas are available starting on April 1. However, this year, DHS received enough petitions by October 13 to reach its congressionally mandated H-2B cap for part one of the fiscal year. As a result, it now plans to issue an additional 64,716 H-2B visas this fiscal year, which is the maximum number of supplemental visas permitted under the September 2023 Fiscal Year 2024 Continuing Resolution.
Of the 64,716 additional H-2B visas, DHS is expected to include an allocation of 20,000 for workers from Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, and Honduras. DHS will also make 44,716 visas available to returning H-2B workers who received an H-2B visa or were granted H-2B status in the past three fiscal years.
By issuing the additional supplemental H-2B visas, DHS hopes to meet the demand for nonagricultural seasonal workers and reduce irregular migration.
Along with issuing more visas, DHS has announced that it will publish a temporary final rule soon with more information on H-2B program safeguards, along with filing and eligibility requirements.
Written by: Lucy Halse, Content Marketing Associate, Envoy Global
Edited by: Dmitri Pikman, Supervising Attorney, Corporate Immigration Partners
Source: Department of Homeland Security (DHS)