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This article was prepared with the assistance of ABIL, the Alliance of Business Immigration Lawyers, of which Loan Huynh, Fredrikson Immigration Department Chair, is a member.

In light of increased labor demands, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced a supplemental increase of 22,000 visas this fiscal year for the H-2B Temporary Non-Agricultural Worker program. DHS said the additional visas will be made available in the “coming months” via a temporary final rule. Six thousand of these visas will be reserved for nationals of the Northern Triangle countries of Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala, DHS said.

The additional visas will only be made available to employers that attest that, if they do not receive workers under the cap increase, they are likely to suffer irreparable harm, DHS said. Additionally, the temporary final rule “will allow employers to immediately hire H-2B workers who are already present in the United States without waiting for approval of the new petition. This portability provision is a critical safeguard that protects both U.S. and H-2B workers, while also providing flexibilities to employers during a time when travel remains challenging,” the agency said. The supplemental increase “is based on a time-limited statutory authority and does not affect the H-2B program in future fiscal years.”

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