US makes more H-2B visas available

An extra 15,000 H-2B visas have been made available to help American businesses struggling to hire non-agricultural temporary staff.

The H-2B Temporary Non-agricultural Worker program was designed to serve US businesses unable to find a sufficient number of qualified US workers to perform non-agricultural work of a temporary nature.

Congress set the annual H-2B cap at 66,000. A maximum of 33,000 H-2B visas are available during the first half of the fiscal year, and the remainder, including any unused H-2B visas from the first, are available in the second. Although the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) received sufficient H-2B petitions to meet the full 2017 fiscal year statutory cap back in March, more visas have now been made available.

After consulting with Secretary of Labour, Alexander Acosta, Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly determined that there are currently not enough qualified and willing US workers available to perform temporary nonagricultural labour to satisfy the needs of some American businesses.

“Congress gave me the discretionary authority to provide temporary relief to American businesses in danger of suffering irreparable harm due to a lack of available temporary workers,” said the Department of Home Security (DHS) Secretary John Kelly. “As a demonstration of the Administration’s commitment to supporting American businesses, DHS is providing this one-time increase to the congressionally set annual cap.”

To qualify for the additional visas, petitioners must attest, under penalty of perjury, that their business is likely to suffer irreparable harm if it cannot employ H-2B non-immigrant workers during the remainder of fiscal year 2017.

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Article published 18th July 2017