The Department of Homeland Security announced March 29 that it will issue 30,000 more H-2B visas for the remainder of fiscal year 2019. This is in addition to the initial cap of 66,000 visas set by Congress for the fiscal year.
These supplemental visas will be available only to returning H-2B workers who have held H-2B status in at least one of the past three fiscal years. Details on eligibility and filing requirements are not yet available. They will be published on www.uscis.gov when the final temporary rule is posted.
Last year, 15,000 additional allocations were opened up but not until July when many of the industries relying on these workers were in their peak seasons. This is the third year in a row the Department of Homeland Security has increased the H-2B visa cap.
A statement from the Office of Legislative Affairs, DHS says, “Congress is in the best position to know the ‘right’ number of H-2B visas that American businesses should be allocated without harming American workers. DHS is committed to ensuring that our immigration system is implemented lawfully and that American workers are protected. We look forward to working with Congress so it can set an appropriate numerical limitation moving forward.”