H-2B Visa Cap: The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of Labor (DOL) has issued a joint temporary final rulemaking available an extra 22,000 H-2B temporary nonagricultural guest worker visas for fiscal year (FY) 2021 to employers who are probably going to suffer irreparable damage without these additional workers. Of the supplemental visas, 6,000 are saved for nationals of the Northern Triangle nations of Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala.
DHS first published the planned supplemental increase of 22,000 visas for the H-2B Temporary Non-Agricultural Worker program on 20th April 2021. The supplemental H-2B visa cap allocation consists of 16,000 visas available. Only to returning H-2B workers from one of the last three fiscal years (FY 2018, 2019, or 2020). And 6,000 visas for Northern Triangle nationals, which absolved from the returning worker requirement.
“The present joint rule helps American businesses and addresses the requirement for robust worker protections”. Said Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas. “Interestingly, we are saving supplemental visas for noncitizens from Northern Triangle nations. In furtherance of President Biden’s and Vice President Harris’ direction to grow legitimate pathways for protection and opportunity for people from those nations.”
DHS and Labor Issue Joint Rule Supplementing H-2B Visa Cap
“The temporary last rule intended to prevent permanent and extreme financial loss to U.S. employers. By supplementing the congressionally mandated H-2B visa cap. Takes into account feedback from American businesses, employer organizations, and labor representatives. And is one piece of the administration’s broader comprehensive framework for managing migration throughout North and Central America,” said USCIS Acting Director Tracy L. Renaud.
“This rule incorporates a few key provisions to guarantee adequate safeguards for U.S. workers and H-2B workers. The rule that employers take additional steps to recruit U.S. workers and provide for “portability”. Which allows H-2B workers already in the United States. To start work with another H-2B employer or agent once USCIS receives a timely filed, non-frivolous H-2B petition, yet before the petition is approved. Portability enables H-2B workers to change employers more quickly if they encounter unsafe or abusive working conditions. Also, DHS and DOL will conduct a significant number of post-adjudication reviews to ensure compliance with the program’s requirements.”
Beginning 25th May 2021, eligible employers who have already finished a test of the U.S. labor market to confirm that there are no U.S. workers who are willing, qualified, and ready to able to perform the seasonal nonagricultural work can file Form I-129. Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, to look for extra H-2B workers. They should submit an attestation with their petition to show their business is probably going to suffer irreparable harm without a supplemental workforce. Additional details on eligibility and filing requirements are available in the temporary final rule. Also, in the Temporary Increase in H-2B Nonimmigrant Visas for FY 2021 webpage.