The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has announced the forthcoming publication of a joint temporary final rule making available an additional 20,000 H-2B temporary nonagricultural worker visas for fiscal year (FY) 2022. These additional visas will be set aside for U.S. employers seeking to employ additional workers on or before March 31, 2022.
H-2B visas allow employers to hire foreign workers who come temporarily to the United States and perform temporary non-agricultural services or labor — including construction work — on a one-time, seasonal, peak-load or intermittent basis.
The supplemental H-2B visa allocation consists of 13,500 visas available only to returning workers who received an H-2B visa, or were otherwise granted H-2B status, during one of the last three fiscal years – FY 2019, 2020 or 2021.
The remaining 6,500 visas, which are exempt from the returning worker requirement, are reserved for nationals of Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador (collectively called the Northern Triangle), as well as nationals from Haiti.
The forthcoming rule also grants portability to certain H-2B workers by allowing H-2B nonimmigrant workers already in the United States to begin employment with a new H-2B employer or agent once U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) receives a timely filed, non-frivolous H-2B petition but before the petition is approved. Portability enables H-2B workers to change employers more quickly if they encounter unsafe or abusive working conditions.
How to File
Once the temporary final rule has been published, eligible employers seeking cap-subject H-2B workers can file Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, seeking additional H-2B workers. They must submit a confirmation with their petition to demonstrate their business is suffering irreparable harm or will suffer impending irreparable harm without a supplemental workforce.
Additional details on eligibility and filing requirements will be available in the temporary final rule and the Cap Count for H-2B Nonimmigrants webpage.
For more information on USCIS and its programs, please visit uscis.gov