An Additional 20,000 H-2B Visas Will Be Available for U.S. Businesses, 2022
Updated: Jan 6, 2022
Earlier this week, the Biden administration announced an increase in the number of H-2B visas by 20,000, of which 6,500 visas will be reserved for workers from Haiti, Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador. This is the first time the U.S. government has made additional visas available for the first part of the fiscal year, October 1 to March 31.
How many H-2B visas are there normally?
Each year, 66,000 visas are available for H-2B visa workers. In the first half of the year, October 1 – March 31, 33,000 visas are distributed and the remaining 33,000, during the second half of the year, April 1 – September 30.
What businesses can benefit from the H-2B visa program?
The H-2B visa is one of the most popular employment visas and permits U.S. employers to temporarily hire foreigners for non-agricultural work in industries such as, landscaping, recreation, construction, trucking, hospitality, and seafood processing.
Last year, U.S. employers requested more than three times the amount of allotted visas within the first three days of the H-2B filing window for the second half of the fiscal year. As a result, the U.S. government responded by making an extra 22,000 visas available for the second part of 2021.
Why does this matter?
Since 2017, the U.S. government has increased the number of H-2B visas but only for the second part of the year. Hopefully, the announcement of supplemental H-2B visas for the first part of 2022 will mean that U.S. employers will benefit from an additional increase of visas in the second half of 2022. Such an increase in an overapplied visa category would significantly help countless U.S. employers fill critical positions and mitigate the negative economic effects of the Covid-19 crisis.