The U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced Friday it would make nearly 65,000 H-2B visas available in Fiscal Year 2024.
The temporary nonagricultural worker visas will add to the 66,000 H-2B visas mandated by Congress each year. According to DHS, the additional visas represent the maximum permitted under the Fiscal Year 2024 Continuing Resolution and will address concerns from businesses in hospitality and tourism, landscaping, seafood processing and others who rely on seasonal and other temporary workers.
“The Department of Homeland Security is committed to maintaining strong economic growth and meeting the labor demand in the United States, while strengthening worker protections for U.S. and foreign workers,” Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas said. “We are using the tools that we have available to bolster the resiliency of our industries and release the maximum number of additional H-2B visas for U.S. businesses to ensure they can plan for their peak season labor needs. We also continue to take steps to strengthen protections for workers and safeguard the integrity of the program from unscrupulous employers who would seek to exploit workers by paying substandard wages and maintaining unsafe work conditions.”
The H-2B supplement is expected to include 20,000 visas to workers from Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti and Honduras to expand efforts to build safe, orderly and humane immigration systems; as well as 44,716 supplemental visas for returning workers who received an H-2B visa during one of the last three fiscal years.
A worker with an H-2B visa can stay in the United States for a maximum of three years. When the visa expires, the H-2B visa holder must leave the country for three months before seeking readmission as an H-2B nonimmigrant.