DHS, DOL Announce Availability of Additional H-2B Visas for First Half of Fiscal Year

February 10, 2022

By Immigration Group

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.

The Departments of Homeland Security (DHS) and Labor (DOL) announced the availability of 20,000 additional H-2B temporary nonagricultural worker visas for the first half of fiscal year (FY) 2022. The visas are for “U.S. employers that are facing irreparable harm without additional workers and [are] seeking to employ additional workers on or before March 31, 2022.” The additional H-2B visas became available to employers on January 28, 2022.

DHS said that this supplemental cap increase “marks the first time that DHS is making additional H-2B visas available in the first half of the fiscal year.”

The supplemental H-2B visa allocation includes 13,500 visas available to returning workers who received an H-2B visa, or were otherwise 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, El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.

In support of the rule, DOL’s Office of Foreign Labor Certification (OFLC) posted a new Form ETA-9142-B-CAA-5 and accompanying instructions. The temporary rule requires an employer to attest, among other things, to the fact that it is suffering irreparable harm or will suffer impending irreparable harm without the ability to employ all of the H-2B workers requested under the cap increase. The employer must submit the attestation to USCIS along with Form I-129, in support of an H-2B application subject to the H-2B cap before March 31, 2022.