An additional 20,000 H-2B visas will be available for the fiscal year 2022, which are set to attract a larger number of overseas workers engaged to temporary work in the United States in non-agricultural fields.
Such a decision has been confirmed by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), while the statement published by the same highlights that the visas will be set aside for US employers interested in employing a larger number of international workers on or before March 31, 2022, VisaGuide.World reports.
This is the first time ever that the Department of Homeland Security has made additional H-2B visas available in the first half of the FY.
According to the Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security, Alejandro Nicholas Mayorkas, additional H-2B visas will help the economic sector to recover.
“DHS is taking action to protect American businesses and create opportunities that will expand lawful pathways to the United States for workers from the Northern Triangle countries and Haiti. In the coming months, DHS will seek to implement policies that will make the H-2B program even more responsive to the needs of our economy while protecting the rights of both US and noncitizen workers,” Mayorkas pointed out.
According to USCIS, the supplemental H-2B visa allocations include 13,500 visas made available for workers who received an H-2B visa or were otherwise granted H-2B status in one of the last three fiscal years.
At the same time, the remaining 6,500 visas, which are not subject to the returning worker requirement, are reserved for nationals of Haiti as well as the Northern Triangle countries of Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador.
H-2B visa program has had an annual quota of 66,000 for the following countries since January 19, 2020:
- Costa Rica
- Czech Republic
- El Salvador
- The Dominican Republic
- New Zealand
- North Macedonia
- Papua New Guinea
- San Marino
- Solomon Islands
- South Korea
- South Africa
- St. Vincent and the Grenadines
- The Netherlands
- United Kingdom
In November, authorities in the United States announced that citizens of Cyprus, Bosnia, and Herzegovina, Haiti, Saint Lucia, as well as Mauritius would be eligible to participate in the US H-2A and H-2B visa programs starting from the following year, as these countries have been added to the list of territories whose citizens are eligible to hold such a visa.
Furthermore, the Department of Homeland and Security also emphasized that citizens of the Dominican Republic would also be permitted to be part of the H-2B visa program starting from the following year.
The US Republic William Keating has stressed on Monday that there will be another 20,000 visas added during the second half of the year.