DHS Announces 15K Additional Visas for Foreign Workers
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will make 15,000 more H-2B guest worker visas available for fiscal year 2018. The newly allotted visas will be in addition to the 66,000 already offered this year.
H-2B visas are granted to businesses that employ seasonal, non-agricultural workers. The landscaping industry in particular is heavily dependent on H-2B workers, significantly outnumbering the tree care industry.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services reached its H-2B cap for the second half of fiscal 2018 in February. However, a spending bill passed in March empowered DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen to roughly double the number of H-2B visas available for this year.
"The limitations on H-2B visas were originally meant to protect American workers, but when we enter a situation where the program unintentionally harms American businesses it needs to be reformed," said Nielsen in a statement on May 25, 2018.
The original news release can be found here.
Eligible petitioners are able to begin filing their applications this week. The process to file is complicated, and companies may need to hire an immigration attorney to help with the process.
Information and instructions for filing the I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker.
Visit the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website for information about H2-B visas.