The number of available H-2B visas for temporary nonagricultural workers is being increased by 64,716 for federal fiscal year 2024, which began Oct. 1. The US Department of Homeland Security announced the move Nov. 3.
The newly announced visas will be in addition to the congressionally mandated existing 66,000 H-2B visas available each year.
“We are using the tools that we have available to bolster the resiliency of our industries and release the maximum number of additional H-2B visas for US businesses to ensure they can plan for their peak season labor needs,” Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas said in a press release.
Companies using H-2B visas include those in hospitality, tourism, landscaping and seafood processing.
The department said safeguards are in place to ensure employers seek out American workers first and that foreign workers hired are not exploited.
Plans call for the supplemental H-2B visas to include an allocation of 20,000 for workers from Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti and Honduras.
In addition, 44,716 of the supplemental H-2Bs will be available to returning workers who received an H-2B during one of the last three fiscal years.