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DHS H-2B Cap 65,000 Visas for 2024 Fiscal Year – DHS Update 2023

November 5th, 2023 at 05:57 am

DHS H-2B Cap 65,000 Visas for 2024 Fiscal Year – DHS Update 2023

For FY 2024, DHS plans to add about 65,000 more visas to the H-2B ceiling. In collaboration with the Department of Labor (DOL), the Department of Homeland Security declared that it anticipates issuing 6,476 more H-2B temporary non-agricultural worker visas for the 2024 fiscal year (FY). Therefore, in addition to the 66,000 H-2B visas that Congress has required to be made available each fiscal year

As per the September 2023 Fiscal Year 2024 Continuing Resolution, these extra H-2B visas are the maximum allowed. To assist them in satisfying customer demand, American firms in industries like hospitality and tourism, landscaping, seafood processing, and more use seasonal or other temporary workers under the H-2B program.

The additional Visa allotment will support the US economy by helping to fill the demand for seasonal or other temporary workers in regions where there is a shortage of US labor.

The extension of the H-2B Visa fulfills the Biden administration’s commitment to increase authorized pathways for migration and protection as stated in the Los Angeles Declaration. Therefore, as a substitute for irregular migration

H-2B Visas for the 2024 Fiscal Year

By announcing plans to begin issuing these additional visas at the beginning of FY 2024, the Departments will guarantee that US firms that require labor may plan and get the necessary temporary and seasonal labor. Strong safeguards have been put in place by DHS and DOL for both US and foreign workers.

These include making sure that, per the requirements of the visa program, firms look for and hire American workers first, and that foreign workers hired are not taken advantage of by dishonest employers.

A report outlining new steps to be taken by federal government agencies to strengthen protections for vulnerable H-2B and similarly situated US workers was released by the White House LED H-2B worker protection task force, DHS, and all proposed regulations to further strengthen worker protections in the H-2A and H-2B Visa programs.

Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro said, “The Department of Homeland Security commits to maintaining strong economic growth and meeting the labor demand in the United States while strengthening worker protections for US and foreign workers.” Additionally, he stated that we are making use of all the resources at our disposal to strengthen the industry’s resilience and issue the greatest number of new H-2B visas to American companies. primarily to make sure they can schedule their labor needs during the busiest season

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Further Details

Additionally, we keep up our efforts to fortify worker rights and preserve the program’s integrity from dishonest companies that would try to take advantage of employees by paying low wages and upholding hazardous working conditions. By making the most of the H-2B Visa program, we also uphold our commitment to increasing the number of legal pathways as a substitute for irregular migration.

Twenty thousand visas for laborers from Columbia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, and Honduras anticipated join in the H-2B supplementary. The Biden-Harris administration is working to create a secure and compassionate immigration system, which includes this allocation for a particular nation. This includes making it easier for people to immigrate legally while toughening penalties for those who don’t have the right to be in the country.

20,000 Country-Specific Allocation

Returned workers awarded H-2B status or received an H-2B visa during one of the previous three fiscal years remain eligible for 4,476 additional visas. These additional visas distribute under the regulation during the first and second halves of the fiscal year for returning workers. Consequently, a portion of the second-half allocation sets aside to satisfy the demand for workers during the busiest summer season to account for the need for more seasonal and other temporary workers throughout the year.

Employers can temporarily employ non-citizens to provide labor or services in the United States that are not related to agriculture under the H-2B program. The work must be transient, such as a seasonal or intermittent demand or a one-time event. Companies looking to hire H-2B workers need to follow certain procedures to gauge the US labor market.

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Steps to Follow

  • To prove that there are insufficient US workers who are willing, competent, qualified, and available to complete the temporary work for which they are looking for a potential foreign worker, they must acquire certification from D.
  • Additionally, it shows that hiring H-2B immigrants won’t hurt the pay and working conditions of US workers with comparable jobs.
  • Besides that, three years is the maximum stay allowed under the H-2B classification.
  • After obtaining H-2B non-immigrant status for three years in total, an individual must leave the country and stay abroad for three continuous months before applying for readmission.

Together, DHS and DOL remain dedicated to safeguarding all H-2B workers from mistreatment and exploitation and to making sure, in compliance with legal requirements, that businesses do not refuse to hire or properly recruit available, willing, and competent US workers to complete the temporary work.

The forthcoming temporary final rule

Anticipations project that implementing this allocation will include several provisions to safeguard H-2B employees as well as the US. When the temporary final rule is released and posted on the USCIS website, information about the H-2B program’s protections, capabilities, and filing requirements will be available.

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