DHS Increases Number of H-2B Visas Available

DHS announces H-2B visa expansion

DHS announces H-2B visa expansion

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recently expanded the cap on H2-B visas available during the first half of fiscal year 2022.

It is worth explaining that the H-2B visa is available to temporary non-agricultural foreign workers.

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The requests from the business sector

This announcement comes on the heels of an urgent call by several representatives of the business sector to expand the number of legal permits available to foreign workers in light of the significant reduction in the US’ labor force.

The shortage of workers following the spread of the COVID-19 virus has resulted in major losses to local industries that provide essential services related to health care, food, transportation and construction.

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Important facts about work visa extensions

Here are some of the specifics about the H-2B visa extension:

  • An additional 20,000 H-2B visas will be granted on top of the previously established quota for the first 6 months of Fiscal Year 2022, between October 2021 and March 2022.
  • 13,500 of these visas will be granted to foreign workers who have obtained H-2B visas or status during the past 3 years.
  • The remaining 6,500 slots will be available to foreign workers from El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras and Guatemala who meet the application criteria.
  • This extension is effective January 28, 2022.

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The goals of the extension

The arrival of these additional 20,000 foreign workers might minimize the negative impact caused by labor shortages across the country.

In fact, dozens of American employers have stated that if the current situation does not improve, they could face “irreparable harm”.

Additionally, local employers hope that this is the beginning of further adjustments to immigration policies so that in the near future, more foreign workers who meet the selection criteria will be able to enter the US and contribute their talents to the development of the national economy.

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