The United States Congress and President Donald Trump recently approved a federal budget that allows for issuance of additional H-2B temporary visas for non-agricultural work. This change will allow more migrant workers to work in the United States on temporary work visas.
Federal law normally caps H-2B visas for non-agricultural jobs at 66,000 per year. The new budget allows the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), in consultation with the Department of Labor, to nearly double the number of H-2B visas available in 2018 if they decide the visas are necessary to satisfy the needs of U.S. businesses. There is no limit on the number of H-2A agricultural worker visas that the government can issue each year.
Because DHS will make the ultimate decision regarding the program’s expansion, the H-2B program will not necessarily double in size. Although the same expansion was approved in last year’s federal budget, DHS only offered 15,000 additional visas.
Nevertheless, it is likely that the more non-agricultural jobs will be available in 2018 to internationally recruited workers in the United States than in years past. Check Contratados.org for updates on the H-2B program and for helpful tips on how you can be vigilant in avoiding fraud and protecting your rights if you choose to come to the United States on a temporary work visa.