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DHS and DOL Announce the Availability of Additional H-2B Visas for the Fiscal Year 2023

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H-2B Temporary Nonagricultural Visas

A temporary final rule issued by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of Labor (DOL) provides 64,716 additional H-2B temporary nonagricultural worker visas for fiscal year (FY) 2023. Before September 15, 2023, U.S. employers seeking to petition for workers during specific times of the fiscal year are eligible for these additional H-2B visas.

Alejandro N. Mayorkas, Secretary of Homeland Security, stated, The Department is making supplemental H-2B visas available earlier than ever. Ensuring that American businesses can plan for their peak season labor needs. These visas will also provide noncitizens who are prepared to take jobs that are not filled by American workers. With a secure and lawful pathway into the United States at a time of record job growth.

The roughly 44,700 supplemental H-2B visas are 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 are included in this allocation. The leftover 20,000 visas are held for nationals of El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Haiti, whether or not they are returning workers. On September 12, 2022, the statutory semiannual cap of 33,000 visas was established. The Immigration and Nationality Act for the first half of FY 2023 was reached.

The supplemental H-2B visas have been divided into the following allocations:

  • Employers looking for El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Haitian nationals. 20,000 visas have been reserved for the entire fiscal year 2023. Starting on December 15, 2022, petitions from employers requesting an employment start date in the first half of FY 2023 can be filed. Employers must submit their requests for employment start dates in the second half of FY 2023. No later than 15 days after the statutory cap for the second half has been reached.
  • For the first half of FY 2023: There are 18,216 visas available right now that are restricted to returning workers of any nationality. On or before March 31, 2023, employment start dates must be requested in these petitions. Starting on December 15, 2022, petitions from employers requesting an employment start date in the first half of FY 2023 can be filed.
  • For the early second half of FY 2023 (Apr. 1 to May 14): 16,500 visas are only available to returning workers, regardless of nationality. The petitions for the first half of FY 2023 must request employment start dates between April 1, 2023, and May 14, 2023. In addition, employers are required to submit these petitions within 15 days of the second-half statutory cap being reached.
  • For the late second half of FY 2023 (May 15 to Sept. 30): Ten thousand visas are only available to returning workers, regardless of nationality. The late second half of FY 2023 petitions must specify dates between May 15, 2023, and September 30, 2023, for employment start dates. In addition, employers are required to submit these petitions. No, later than 45 days after the statutory cap for the second half is reached.

Additional H-2B Visas for FY 2023

This is the first time that the Departments have issued a single rulemaking for several allocations of H-2B supplemental visas throughout the entire fiscal year. Including an allocation for the latter 2nd half. Employers can temporarily hire noncitizens to perform nonagricultural labor or services in the United States through the H-2B program. The employment must only be for a short time; The petitioner must have a temporary requirement for services or labor. Such as a one-time occurrence, peak load, seasonal, or intermittent requirement. The Departments are seeking public feedback on how they are implementing this rule’s H-2B supplemental authority.

64,716 H-2B Visas Available

Under the FY 2023 supplemental cap, employers who want to hire H-2B workers must prove that they will suffer irreparable harm if they are unable to engage all of the H-2B workers on the petition. To test the U.S. labor market, employers looking to hire H-2B workers must take a few steps. They should give certification from DOL that proves there are insufficient U.S. workers. Who is 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. Employers who file an H-2B petition 30 days or more after the certified start date on the temporary labor certification. Are also required to take additional measures to recruit workers from the United States.

[More Indians may queue up for US EB-5 visas as tech layoffs spread]

Under this rule, petitions for additional allocations must be filed at the California Service Center. Petitions filed under the supplemental allocations in this rule at any area other than the California Administration Center will be dismissed and the filing fees will be returned. Additionally, USCIS will not accept premium processing requests until January 3, 2023. For petitions requesting workers from Haiti, El Salvador, Guatemala, or Honduras or returning workers with a start date in the first half of the fiscal year. If the I-907 is received before January 3, 2023, USCIS will reject it and return the premium processing fee.

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