By: Jack Spirakes, Public Information Officer
U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)
Washington Metropolitan Area District Office
On May 25, 2021, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a temporary final rule making available an additional 22,000 H-2B temporary nonagricultural guest worker visas for fiscal year 2021 to employers who are likely to suffer irreparable harm without these additional workers.
While 16,000 of the additional visas are limited to returning workers, 6,000 visas have been reserved for nationals of the Northern Triangle countries (Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala), regardless of whether those nationals are returning workers. The supplemental visas support President Biden’s vision of expanding lawful pathways for protection and opportunity for individuals from the Northern Triangle and address the needs of U.S. employers at risk of permanent and severe financial loss.
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) strongly encourages qualified U.S. employers to consider this supplemental H-2B allocation reserved for nationals of the Northern Triangle in filling positions for which they cannot find qualified and available U.S. workers. If fewer than 6,000 beneficiaries are requested toward the visas set aside for nationals of the Northern Triangle countries, USCIS will announce on its website by July 23 that the unused Northern Triangle country visas will be made available to employers regardless of the beneficiary’s country of nationality, subject to the returning worker requirement.
The H-2B nonimmigrant classification applies to noncitizen workers seeking to perform nonagricultural labor or services in the United States on a temporary basis, usually lasting no longer than one year (unless the employer’s need is a one-time event that could last up to three years), for which U.S. workers are not available.
For more information please visit the USCIS website.
Idaliz Ortiz is a Puerto Rican former multimedia journalist. She received a GLAAD award in 2017 for Spanish Programing - Special Feature, and was twice nominated for a Capital Emmy Award. She is currently the GWHCC Director of Marketing and Communications. Feel free to email her at firstname.lastname@example.org