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DHS authorizes temporary 15,000 increase in H-2B visas

  1. Date Announced

    May 31, 2018

    The Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Secretary of Labor, issues a temporary rule increasing the limit on H-2B nonimmigrant visas to authorize up to an additional 15,000 through the end of FY 2018. This increase will not affect the H-2B program in future fiscal years. [ID #513]

    See Biden administration action below.

    View Policy Document View Policy Document
  2. Effective Date of Change

    May 31, 2018
  3. Subsequent Action

    May 6, 2019

    DHS and DOL announce that they will publish a joint temporary final rule making available an additional 30,000 H-2B Visas for FY 2019, that are available only to workers who were granted H-2B status during one of the last three fiscal years.

    DHS, DOL to Publish Joint Rule for Additional Visas for Returning Foreign Workers
  4. Subsequent Action

    May 8, 2019

    DHS and DOL publish a joint temporary final rule making available an additional 30,000 H-2B Visas for FY 2019, that are available only to workers who were granted H-2B status during one of the last three fiscal years.

    Exercise of Time-Limited Authority To Increase the Fiscal Year 2019 Numerical Limitation for the H–2B Temporary Nonagricultural Worker Program
  5. Subsequent Action

    March 5, 2020

    DHS announces an additional 35,000 visas will be available for H-2B foreign temporary nonagricultural workers during the second half of fiscal year 2020.

    DHS announced additional 35,000 visas available for H-2B workers during the second half of 2020
  6. Subsequent Action

    April 2, 2020

    On April 2, 2020 DHS reported that no additional H-2B visas would be released until further notice.

    DHS Twitter Post on H2B Visas
  7. Biden Administration Action

    April 20, 2021

    This Biden administration policy modifies the Trump-era policy identified in this entry.

    On April 20, 2021, DHS announced that it would make available 22,000 temporary, non-agricultural worker visas available under the H-2B category in the following months. DHS noted: " 6,000 of these visas will be reserved for nationals of the Northern Triangle countries of Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala."

    2021.04.20 DHS to Make Additional 22,000 Temporary, Non-Agricultural Worker Visas Available
  8. Biden Administration Action

    May 25, 2021

    This Biden administration policy modifies the Trump-era policy identified in this entry.

    On May 25, 2021, DHS, in consultation with the Secretary of Labor, published a temporary final rule allowing for the issuance of up to 22,000 additional H-2B visas in FY2021. The rule also temporarily allows applicants who are already in the United States to begin work as soon as USCIS receives their application, rather than waiting for approval.

    2021.05.25 Exercise of Time-Limited Authority To Increase the Fiscal Year 2021 Numerical Limitation for the H-2B Temporary Nonagricultural Worker Program and Portability Flexibility for H-2B Workers Seeking To Change Employers

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