US Immigration News

USCIS Issued Additional H-2B Visas for Temporary Foreign Workers

2 minute read
"Recently, on May 21, 2021, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and the Department of Labor (DOL) announced that a temporary final rule will be issued on May 25, 2021, to grab an additional 22,000 H-2B visas for certain foreign workers and businesses. The H-2B visa is for seasonal, non-agriculture temporary foreign workers with a valid job offer from a US employer."
Written by My Visa Source Team
Published on:  Jun 29, 2021
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Recently, on May 21, 2021, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and the Department of Labor (DOL) announced that a temporary final rule will be issued on May 25, 2021, to grab an additional 22,000 H-2B visas for certain foreign workers and businesses. The H-2B Visa is for seasonal, non-agriculture temporary foreign workers with a valid job offer from a US employer.

The USCIS announced that, out of the total, 16,000 H-2B Visas will be reserved for returning workers who were granted H-2B Visas in the last 3 years, from 2018 to 2020. The remaining 6,000 visas will be issued for foreign nationals from Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador. 

Employers may request these additional H-2B Visas for workers until September 15, 2021. If employers are hiring from the above-mentioned 3 countries, then they must request an H-2B Visa by July 8, 2021. 

Which Employers Are Eligible for Additional H-2B Visas?

To be eligible for these additional H-2B Visas, employers must demonstrate how they will face irreparable harm without hiring all the requested H-2B workers in their petition. A labor market test will be conducted if the certified start date of the H-2B Visa petition is 45 days or more before May 25, 2021.

The employer must meet the following requirements to file a Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker:

  • Have a certified H-2B ETA 9142B with a start date between April 1, 2021- September 30, 2021
  • Demonstrate how not employing the requested H-2B workers will cause your business irreparable harm
  • Post the job vacancy with the State Workforce Agency (SWA) for at least 15 days, no later than 1 business day after filing Form I-129
  • If the petition is filed 45 days or more after the certified start date of ETA 9142B, then the employer must conduct other recruitment activities during the SWA posting period
  • Comply with all the labor and employment laws, including the health and safety laws imposed due to Covid-19 
  • Notify the employees of all the necessary Covid-19 vaccines and vaccination distribution centers

How Will the H-2B Workers be Selected?

The USCIS may conduct a lottery if the petitions received in the first 5 days far exceed the 16,000 visa cap. The process to issue receipt notices or petition processing will not start until the USCIS determines whether a lottery needs to be conducted in the first 5 days of the selection process.

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