On May 25 of this year, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Labor announced an addition of 22,000 H-2B visas for the rest of fiscal year 2021. There are a couple of things to consider along with this update; for example:
It will only be available for employers that forecast permanent or severe financial loss. Another requirement is that they are left with no choice but to hire workers from abroad if there are no U.S. workers.
Out of the 22,000 visas that were added, 16,000 of them will be directed towards migrant workers who have applied for H-2B visas within the last three years (2018, 2019, 2020). These workers are considered returning workers under the visa program.
Of the 6,000 visas remaining, they will be dedicated to the migrant workers returning from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador, otherwise collectively referred to as “The Northern Triangle.” This addition is temporary and expires on September 30, 2021. Therefore, employers must submit their petitions before July 8, 2021 to be considered for the visas.
Employment under this program will begin after September 30, 2021.
It is worth mentioning that the employers who need to submit petitions to the Government to receive more migrant workers under this program must abide by the rules and regulations protecting the health and safety of workers under COVID-19; such as, allotting free time, or paid time, so that workers are able to vaccinate themselves; notifying them in a dominant language that they are able to understand so they make an informed decision regarding their COVID-19 inoculation.
Moreover, because the Department of Homeland Security has authority over the regulations mandating the H-2B program, they have been able to provide additional flexibility to this program. Only if the United States Center of Immigration Services (USCIS) accepts the petition submitted by the employer will migrant workers be able to attain the H-2B visas and relocate to the United States.
To make sure you comply with the requirements needed for the visa under this program, the Department of Homeland Security and Department of Labor will evaluate and make audits even after issuing the visa to ensure the integrity of the employer.
If you are a person who is seeking to obtain one of these 22,000 additional visas, then be careful; inform yourself on these requirements and do not hesitate to contact El Centro de los Derechos del Migrante, Inc. (CDM), for more information. Call us either using our Mexico number 800-590-1773 or our United States number 1-855-234-9699 from Monday to Friday during our hours of operation: 9:00am to 5:00pm Central Time.
Imágen: Flickr/News Asia 2015/Vía Flickr.com