DHS and DOL Issue Supplemental H-2B Cap – Increasing Visas for First Half of 2022

Prior to the 2021 holiday season, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced the publication of a joint temporary final rule (Federal Register :: Exercise of Time-Limited Authority To Increase the Fiscal Year 2021 Numerical Limitation for the H-2B Temporary Nonagricultural Worker Program and Portability Flexibility for H-2B Workers Seeking To Change Employers ) which will make an additional 20,000 H-2B visas available on or before March 31, 2022. The American Horse Council will continue to monitor, track and report on the rule going forward. Specifically, the supplemental will allow for 13,500 visas available to returning workers who received an H-2B, or were granted H-2B status during one of the last three fiscal years. The remaining 6,500 visas, which are exempt from the returning worker requirement, are reserved for nationals of Haiti, and the Northern Triangle Countries of Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador. “In the coming months, DHS will seek to implement policies that will make the H-2B program even more responsive to the needs of our economy, while protecting the rights of both U.S. and non citizen workers,” commented U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.  What is the H-2B Program? The H-2B program permits employers to temporarily hire noncitizens to perform nonagricultural labor or services in the United States.  The employment must be of a temporary nature for a limited period of time, such as a one-time occurrence, seasonal need, or intermittent need.  Employers seeking H-2B workers must take a series of steps to test the U.S. labor market.  They must also certify in their petitions that there are not enough U.S. workers who are able, willing, qualified, and available to do the temporary work for which they seek a prospective foreign worker.  In addition, they must certify that employing H-2B workers will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of similarly employed U.S. workers.

For more information on any of these legislative updates contact Mark Riso at mriso@horsecouncil.org

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