Supplemental H-2B Visas to be Available Starting May 25
Congressman Andy Harris, M.D., announced that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), in consultation with the Department of Labor (DOL), will next week formally issue a rule to release 22,000 supplemental H-2B visas for the 2021 Fiscal Year. These visas will be available to employers starting on May 25th. The release of supplemental H-2B visas by DHS is pursuant to the Harris Amendment to the Fiscal Year 2021 Department of Homeland Security appropriations bill passed into law in December 2020.
Congressman Harris issued the following statement:
“The H-2B temporary worker visa program is critical to helping countless small businesses stay operational and keep up with demand during their busy summer season. Unfortunately, while this supplemental release will help a bit, many more are needed for our seasonal industries to fully operate – many of whom are already entering their high season without the temporary laborers they need. Coupled with ongoing labor shortages caused by the Biden Administration’s ongoing generous federal unemployment insurance supplement, the H-2B visa shortage is severely hindering our economic recovery as we come out of the COVID-19 pandemic. H-2B non-immigrant guest workers are a win-win for the American taxpayer. These workers pay taxes – without ever being able to claim entitlements, must maintain a clean criminal record, and must return to their home country at the end of the season. I remain committed to ensuring this program is available to employers who, as a last resort and despite extensive attempts to hire American workers (as required by the program), need these temporary visas to meet their seasonal labor needs.”
Of these 22,000 visas, 16,000 are reserved for returning workers who held an H-2B visa in 2018, 2019, or 2020. The remaining 6,000 are reserved for workers coming from the northern triangle countries in Central America. Further details on the release can be found here.