The Department of Homeland Security, along with the USCIS and Department of Labor, has made available an additional 64,716 H-2B temporary nonagricultural worker visas for fiscal year 2024. These visas are on top of the 66,000 H-2B visas that are made available each year and include 20,000 “country specific” visas allocated to workers from Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, and Honduras.
H-2B visas allow American non-agricultural, but temporary or seasonal, employers to hire non-citizen workers when there are not enough qualified American workers to fill the need. Examples of the qualifying business include tourism, landscaping and seafood processing. Employers must attempt to hire qualified United States citizens first per H-2B hiring rules and must ensure that hiring the visa holder does not negatively affect the American workers especially in the areas of working conditions and wages.
The maximum period of stay in H-2B classification is three years. A person who has held H-2B nonimmigrant status for a total of three years must depart and remain outside of the United States for an uninterrupted period of three months before seeking readmission as an H-2B nonimmigrant.
An experienced immigration attorney can guide applicants through the rules and processes to encourage a positive outcome.