A temporary rule jointly issued by the Departments of Homeland Security (DHS) and Labor (DOL), effective May 8, 2019, increases the H-2B cap for fiscal year (FY) 2019 by 30,000. The H-2B visa permits a foreign worker to fill temporary nonagricultural jobs in the United States. The purpose of the rule is to aid U.S. businesses that are likely to suffer irreparable harm (permanent and severe financial loss) without the ability to employ all of the H-2B workers requested on their petitions before the end of FY 2019.
Among other terms and conditions, the temporary rule requires:
- For this one-time increase, any H-2B workers falling under this cap increase are limited to returning workers who were “issued an H-2B visa or otherwise granted H-2B status in FY 2016, 2017, or 2018.”
- If an employer submits a request to DHS for an H-2B visa more than 45 days after the start date of work listed on the temporary labor certification, the employer would be required to conduct a “fresh round of recruitment” for U.S. workers.