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H-2B Supplemental Visa, Stepped Up Enforcement Announced

Bryan Little, Farm Employers Labor Service

March 11, 2020

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has announced availability of 35,000 supplemental H-2B temporary non-agricultural workers visas for the second half of Fiscal Year 2020.  These visas will be available in two batches, 20,000 for employment dates beginnig April 1, 2020 and 15,000 for employment dates beginning May 15, 2020.

H-2B workers are typically employed in seasonal employment like food processing, hotels and resorts, reforestation and other non-agricultural occupations.  Unlike the H-2A agricultural temporary workers visa program, the H-2B program has been capped at 60,000 visas with authority for DHS to provide supplemental visas.  Like the H-2A program, H-2B useage increases substantially when the economy is booming and unemployment is low.

DHS is also imposing new conditions on employers using the H-2B program, including requiring that employment start dates match the employer's date of need stated on the application paperwork; limiting availability of supplemental visas to returning H-2B workers with a track record of following program rules, and increased employer scrutiny of H-2B employers.

You can read DHS' press release announcing this initiative at this link.