The Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Labor announced that they plan to make an additional 35,000 H-2B temporary nonagricultural worker visas available for the second half of FY22. However, DHS says that these visas will be set aside for U.S. employers seeking to employ foreign workers between April 1 and September 30, 2022.

Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas stated on the increase;

Informed by current demand in the labor market, today we are announcing the availability of an additional 35,000 H-2B visas that will help to support American businesses and expand legal pathways for workers seeking to come to the United States. Recognizing the importance of strong worker protections, we will apply greater scrutiny to those employers who have a record of violating obligations to their workers and the H-2B program.

Of the 35,000 additional temporary worker visas, 23,500 will be available to returning workers who have been granted H-2B status in the past three years. The remaining 11,500 visas are reserved for foreign nationals from Haiti, Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador.

The DHS stated in the policy announcement,

The H-2B program permits employers to temporarily hire noncitizens to perform nonagricultural labor or services in the United States. The employment must be for a limited period of time, such as a one-time occurrence, seasonal, or intermittent need. Employers seeking to hire H-2B workers must take a series of steps to test the U.S. labor market. They must provide certification from the Department of Labor that proves there are not enough U.S. workers who are able, willing, qualified, and available to do the temporary work for which they seek a prospective foreign worker, and that employing the H-2B workers will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of similarly employed U.S. workers.

For the complete release, please click here.

Updated: Thu, Mar 31st 2022 @ 5:38pm EDT