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U.S. to double the number of H-2B visas for 2024

By Brock Huffstutler

November 12, 2023

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), in consultation with the Department of Labor (DOL), said that it expects to make an additional 64,716 H-2B temporary nonagricultural worker visas available for Fiscal Year (FY) 2024.

The additional H-2B visas are on top of the congressionally-mandated 66,000 that are available each fiscal year, and represent the maximum permitted under the Sept. 2023 FY 2024 Continuing Resolution.

The H-2B supplemental is expected to include an allocation of 20,000 visas to workers from Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti and Honduras. The Biden administration said this country-specific allocation is part of its efforts to build a safe, orderly, and humane immigration system that includes expanding lawful pathways for immigration while strengthening consequences for those without a legal basis to remain in the United States.

In addition to the 20,000 country-specific allocation, 44,716 supplemental visas would be available to returning workers who received an H-2B visa, or were otherwise granted H-2B status, during one of the last three fiscal years. The regulation would allocate these supplemental visas for returning workers between the first half and second half of the fiscal year to account for the need for additional seasonal and other temporary workers over the course of the year, with a portion of the second half allocation reserved to meet the demand for workers during the peak summer season.

The H-2B program extends visa classifications to noncitizens coming to the U.S. to temporarily perform nonagricultural service or labor. Equipment and event rental members rely on the program to supplement their U.S. workforce needs during seasonal surges.

The H-2B Workforce Coalition, of which the American Rental Association (ARA) is an active member, has sent a letter to Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas and Secretary of Labor Juli Su thanking them for the plan to make the supplemental H-2B visas available.