Recently the U.S. government announced that an additional 15,000 visas under the category H-2B will be issued for temporary seasonal workers to be hired by American businesses who are “in danger of suffering irreparable harm” due to labor shortages for fiscal year 2017.
This rule specifically states American businesses as those who are unable to hire temporary non-agricultural seasonal workers. Such businesses are forced to close due to unavailability of qualified temporary workers during peak season. Some of them even suffer heavy financial losses.
The H-2B program enables the U.S. employers or U.S. agents who meet specific regulatory requirements to bring foreign nationals to the United States to fill temporary nonagricultural jobs.
One has to note that these are for temporary jobs that has temporary need for qualified workers.
Congress has set the H-2B cap at 66,000 per fiscal year, with 33,000 for workers who begin employment in the first half of the fiscal year (October 1 - March 31) and 33,000 for workers who begin employment in the second half of the fiscal year (April 1 - September 30). Any unused numbers from the first half of the fiscal year are available for employers seeking to hire H-2B workers during the second half of the fiscal year. However, it should be noted that any number of unused H-2B visas from one fiscal year cannot be carried over into the next year.
The new policy states that American Businesses can hire additional workers only for the fiscal year 2017. This is a onetime increase to the annually set congressional cap.
Eligible petitioners for H-2B visas can file Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker and submit a supplemental attestation on Form ETA 9142-B-CAA (PDF) with their petition starting from July 19, 2017.
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