The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), through the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), and the Department of Labor (DOL) published a temporary final rule making available an additional 64,716 H-2B temporary nonagricultural worker visas for fiscal year (FY) 2024, on top of the statutory cap of 66,000 H-2B visas that are available each fiscal year. American businesses in industries such as hospitality and tourism, landscaping, seafood processing, and more turn to seasonal and other temporary workers in the H-2B program to help them meet demand from consumers. The supplemental visa allocation will help address the need for these workers in areas where too few U.S. workers are available, helping contribute to the American economy. The temporary final rule also advances the Biden Administration’s pledge, under the Los Angeles Declaration for Migration and Protection, to expand lawful pathways as an alternative to irregular migration.
By making these supplemental visas available at the outset of FY 2024, the Departments will help ensure U.S. businesses with workforce needs are able to plan ahead and find the seasonal and temporary workers they need. At the same time, DHS and DOL are reinforcing robust protections for U.S. and foreign workers alike, including by ensuring that employers first seek out and recruit American workers for the jobs to be filled, as the H-2B program requires, and that foreign workers hired are protected from unscrupulous employers. Recently, both DHS and DOL proposed regulations to further strengthen worker protections in the H-2A and H-2B visa programs, and the White House-led H-2B Worker Protection Taskforce released a report (PDF) detailing new actions to be taken by Federal agencies to strengthen protections for vulnerable H-2B and similarly situated U.S. workers.
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