The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), together with the Department of Labor (DOL), on March 31, announced the publication of a joint temporary final rule in order to release extra 35,000 H-2B visas for the second half of the fiscal year (FY) 2022.
According to the announcement of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, the additional H-2B visas will be set aside for US employers who are seeking to employ additional workers engaged in non-agricultural fields for the second half of the year starting on or after April 1 until September 30, VisaGuide.World reports.
“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. In addition, 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,” Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas pointed out in this regard.
There are a total of 23,500 visas available to returning workers who received an H-2B visa or were granted H-2B status in the last three years. Another 11,500 visas, which are exempt from the returning worker requirement, are earmarked for nationals of Honduras, Haiti, Guatemala, and El Salvador.
The H-2B visa permits internationals engaged in non-agricultural jobs to work temporarily in the United States.
The agency emphasized that February 25 was the final receipt date for cap-subject H-2B worker petitions requesting employment on or after April 1 as well as before October 1.
“We will reject any new H-2B petitions received after February 25, 2022, requesting an employment start date on or after April 1, 2022, and before October 1, 2022,” the statement reads.
Previously, VisaGuide.World reported that Biden’s administration made available another 20,000 visas for the fiscal year 2022.
The decision was confirmed through a statement published by USCIS while emphasizing that the visas would be set aside for all US employers interested in engaging internationals to work in the agricultural field in the US on or before March 31.
Besides the H-2B visa, USCIS recently announced that it received enough petitions in order to reach the congressionally mandated 65,000 H-1B visa cap and also the 20,000 H-1B visa for US advanced degree exemption called the master’s cap for FY 2022.