The USCIS announced last week that the agency will be setting aside additional H2-B worker visas for the second half of 2022. U.S employers who are seeking additional help for their business will now be able to expand their legal pathways to employ individuals, especially non-citizens looking for work in the United States.  

These visas have already been set aside. The DHS has promised an additional 35,000 visas to be available starting April 1st until a deadline is reached on September 30th, 2022. More than half of these visas will be allocated for individuals who are returning workers to the United States and thus have already been granted an H2-B visa during one of the last three fiscal years. Additionally, 11,500 visas will be set aside for individuals from Haiti, Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador. This latter measure is part of a U.S. led effort to provide some form of aid for vulnerable people from Central America. It is also in part a strategy to mitigate more surges of migrants to the U.S. Mexico border. However, citizens from these countries still need an incentive to apply for these worker visas.

For a brief refresh, the H2-B visa category is mainly for non-citizens looking for work in the United States in the labor sector. Employers in the H2-B sector tend to be in hospitality, construction, personal care, and transportation/logistics. In general, you do not need to hold a Bachelors degree to work in the H2-B sector, but you do need prior working and professional experience that will demonstrate you have a competent skillset in a respective field of interest.

If you are a U.S. based employer looking to hire non-citizens through the H2-B worker program, you should be advised that you will still need to provide certification from the Department of Labor (DOL) that shows there are not enough U.S. workers who are able, willing, qualified, and available to do the temporary work for which they seek a prospective foreign worker.[1]

As the U.S. continues to rebound from Covid-19, many organizational experts are saying that the inability for U.S. employers to fill jobs comes from a labour market where individuals are unwilling to take jobs that don’t support a living or have poor working arrangements/lack of benefits.[2]