15,000 More H-2B Visas for FY2017


Yesterday, the Department of Homeland Security ("DHS") announced it will allow the issuance of 15,000 additional H-2B visas for Fiscal Year 2017, which ends September 30, 2017. The H-2B Temporary Nonagricultural Worker program has a Congressionally-mandated limit of 66,000 visas per fiscal year, and USCIS announced in March it had received enough H-2B petitions to meet that limit. Subsequently, in May, Congress gave DHS Secretary John Kelly the authority to accept additional H-2B petitions.

In its announcement, DHS noted that the additional H-2B visas are only available to "U.S. businesses in danger of suffering irreparable harm" if they cannot hire additional H-2B workers. When filing Form I-129 for additional H-2B workers this fiscal year, petitioners must attest under penalty of perjury they are likely to suffer such harm.

A final rule is expected to be published on the Federal Register tomorrow, which will provide details on eligibility and filing requirements. In the meantime, the unpublished rule is available for review on the Federal Register page which will contain the final, published rule.

Please contact your Goel & Anderson attorney if you have any questions.