Overview: The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), in collaboration with the Department of Labor (DOL), has revealed plans to allocate an additional 64,716 H-2B temporary nonagricultural worker visas for Fiscal Year (FY) 2024. This supplement, in addition to the congressionally mandated 66,000 visas, aims to assist industries such as hospitality, tourism, landscaping, and seafood processing in meeting seasonal workforce demands.
Supplemental Visa Allocation: The DHS expects to allocate 64,716 supplemental H-2B visas for FY 2024, addressing workforce needs in industries facing a shortage of U.S. workers.
Strategic Planning for Businesses: By announcing these visas at the start of FY 2024, U.S. businesses can plan and secure seasonal and temporary workers for their peak operational periods.
Worker Protections: Emphasizing robust protections, DHS and DOL ensure employers prioritize recruiting American workers before considering foreign workers, preventing exploitation, and maintaining fair working conditions.
Specific Country Allocation: The supplemental visas will include a specific allocation of 20,000 visas for workers from various countries, part of the administration’s efforts to create a safe and orderly immigration system.
Returnee Worker Allocation: An additional 44,716 visas will be allocated to returning workers who held H-2B status in the last three fiscal years, distributed over the first and second halves of FY 2024 to meet varying seasonal demands.
Conclusion: The H-2B visa expansion reflects ongoing efforts to balance economic growth, workforce needs, and stringent protections for both U.S. and foreign workers. The forthcoming temporary final rule is expected to outline specific provisions to ensure fair and ethical practices within the program.