H-2B Visa Expansion

The Biden administration announced today an increase of 22,000 visas for the H-2B Temporary Non-Agricultural Worker program for the fiscal year 2021. 

The new policy will help U.S. based businesses and employers that need more workers.

It also benefits workers from Central America and the area known as the Northern Triangle. Employees from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala will have access to 6,000 of the additional visas.  

Although the policy is welcome news to our neighbors from the South, the H-2B process remains complex. A better solution is to create a new category of visa that is similar to the TN.  The TN visa is offered only to citizens from Canada and Mexico. It is a much more streamlined application process and much more easliy renewed. It greatly benefits workers from those countries who have a job offer in the United States. Citzens from the Northern Triangle would stand to benefit if the dream of a new visa, modeled after the TN, becomes a reality. For now, the Biden administration’s new policy is a big improvement, nonetheless.

Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas hailed today’s announcement on H-2B visas as a milestone event, stating “for the first time, we are setting aside supplemental visas for noncitizens from Northern Triangle countries, in furtherance of President Biden’s and Vice President Harris’ direction to expand legal pathways for protection and opportunity for individuals from those countries.”

Employers who have already gone through the Labor Certification process may file a Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, to seek additional H-2B workers, beginning May 25, 2021. 

For more information, contact our offices