Back to Top skip to main content
Green and Spiegel - An Immigration Law Firm - United States
Apr 5, 2019

H-2B Visa Program Relief

Amy Jill Novak

On March 29, 2019, the Department of Homeland Security indicated plans to release an additional 30,000 visas in the H-2B category. The H-2B visa program, designed for temporary non-agricultural work, is capped out at 66,000 visas per year. The first 33,000 visas are released in the first half of the fiscal year on October 1, and 33,000 are released in the second half of the fiscal year on April 1. This year, the Department of Labor identified 97,000+ applicants for the April 1 start date. So, this announcement comes as good news to the H-2B community, many of whom were shut out of the ability to obtain visas for their workforce due to the high volume of applicants.

Secretary Nielsen made this decision in consultation with the Department of Labor Secretary following congressional authorization for the release of up to 69,000+ visas in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2019 (Division H, Section 105).

While USCIS has not made an official announcement detailing the process by which employers can file for their workers, they have indicated these visas will only be open to workers who have had an H-2B visa in 2016, 2017, or 2018. Expect an announcement in the next few days. Green and Spiegel will continue to keep you updated as well.  If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us.

Related Team

Recent Blogs

Oct 19, 2020

USCIS Announces Increased Premium Processing Fees Effective October 19, 2020

Starting October 19, 2020, the fee for Premium Processing, will be $2,500 (previously $1,440) for all filings except those requesting H-2B (non-agricultural seasonal worker) or R-1 (Religious Worker) status, for which the new fee is $1,500 (previously $1,440).Any filings post-marked on or after October 19th must include the new fee amount. Any Form-1-907 postmarked on or after October 19th with the incorrect fee amount will be rejected and the fee returned.

Oct 13, 2020

US and European Partners are Moving Towards Reopening Transatlantic Travel by Adopting New Pandemic Protocols

KEY POINTS: • Foreign nationals who wish to travel to the United States from Europe either must fit into one of the travel restriction exceptions or obtain advance permission to board a plane to the U.S. • In the alternative, they may travel to a third country and quarantine there for two weeks prior to coming to the United States. • The U.S. and overseas partners are anxious to relax those restrictions. Advanced COVID-19 airport testing may provide a solution. • We expect some testing of these technologies followed by the announcement of new travel protocols in time for the winter holidays.

Oct 09, 2020

Biden Vs. Trump Comparison

As we approach the November elections it has never been clearer that this country faces upheaval and challenges that will bring about dramatic, lasting, and hopefully vital changes to our nation and its people. Here, we compare how the two candidates have and will handle immigration policy in the United States.