DHS to Supplement H-2B Cap with Nearly 65,000 Additional Visas for FY 2024
The Department of Homeland Security, working with the Department of Labor, plans to offer an extra 64,716 temporary worker visas for non-farm jobs in the 2024 fiscal year.
This is in addition to the standard 66,000 visas provided annually. This increase aims to support American businesses in sectors like hospitality, landscaping, and seafood processing, which depend on temporary workers to handle seasonal demand. The move is part of the Biden Administration’s commitment to creating legal immigration options and supporting the economy by filling jobs where there aren’t enough American workers.
The early announcement for the next fiscal year allows businesses to plan for their workforce needs. Both the DHS and DOL are ensuring that American workers get priority for these jobs and that foreign workers are treated fairly. They are also working on new rules to better protect all workers in these visa programs.
Of the additional visas, 20,000 will be reserved for workers from specific Central and South American countries. This is part of the administration’s strategy to manage immigration safely and responsibly. Another 44,716 visas will be for workers who have participated in the program in the last three years, with some of these reserved for businesses needing extra help in the summer.
Employers hiring through the H-2B program must prove that there aren’t enough U.S. workers available for the job and that hiring foreign workers won’t harm U.S. workers’ wages or conditions. Workers on these visas can stay for up to three years but must leave for three months before reapplying.
Both departments are dedicated to protecting workers in the H-2B program from mistreatment and ensuring that U.S. workers aren’t overlooked if they are qualified and want the temporary jobs. The upcoming rule change will include measures to keep both U.S. and foreign workers safe.
Additional details on H-2B program safeguards, as well as eligibility and filing requirements, will be available in the temporary final rule when published and on the USCIS webpage.