DHS and DOL announce an additional 35,000 H-2B visas March 31, 2022

Roy Carrasquillo

The US Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) and the US Department of Labor (“DOL”) announced today the publication of a joint temporary final rule to make available an additional 35,000 H-2B temporary non-agricultural worker visas for the second half of fiscal year 2022. Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas stated that the agencies “will apply greater scrutiny to those employers who have a record of violating obligations to their workers and the H-2B program.”  

This supplemental H-2B visa allocation consists of 23,500 visas 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 and the remaining 11,500 visas, which are exempt from the returning worker requirement, are reserved for nationals of Haiti, Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador.

As U.S. employers face difficult times meeting their hiring needs, this visa addition should help employers looking to hire temporary non-agricultural workers for the busy summer season as on March 1, 2022, USCIS had announced that it had received enough petitions to meet the congressionally mandated H-2B cap for the second half of fiscal year 2022.