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DHS Puts Supplemental H-2B Visas on Hold

On April 2, 2020, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that it is holding off on plans to issue additional H-2B visas. DHS had previously agreed to make an additional 35,000 visas available to seasonal employers after the visa quota (or cap) had been met for the second half of fiscal year (FY) 2020. The announcement did not include detailed information, but said that H-2B visas are on hold until further notice pending review of current “economic circumstances” in the United States, presumably due to the impact of COVID-19.

The H-2B program provides temporary nonagricultural labor to employers facing a shortage of available workers in the United States. Employers must demonstrate that the need for workers is temporary based on a one-time, seasonal, intermittent, or peak-load need. Common H-2B positions include hotel staff, housekeepers, janitors, amusement park workers, landscapers, and warehouse workers, among others. H-2B visas are subject to a quota of 66,000 visas per fiscal year, with 33,000 visas available in the first half of the fiscal year (October 1 through March 31) and the remaining 33,000 reserved for the second half of the fiscal year (April 1 through September 30).

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About this Author

Melissa Manna, Ogletree Deakins Law Firm, Raleigh, Immigration Practice Group Writer
Immigration Practice Group Writer

Melissa Manna is an Immigration Practice Group Writer. Her primary focus is writing and editing legal articles relating to immigration for the firm’s online and print publications, websites, and newsletters.

Prior to joining Ogletree Deakins, Melissa spent 9 years as in-house counsel at TowerCo, one of the largest independent wireless tower companies in the U.S., representing the company in all aspects of commercial real estate. During that time she managed due diligence, advised and implemented risk management solutions, and closed transactions...

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Ceridwen J. Koski, Ogletree Deakins, Investor Start ups lawyer, Global Corporations Attorney
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Admitted to the state bars of Colorado, Arizona and New York, Ceri has experience working with clients that range from Fortune 500 companies, individual investors, start-up companies, U.S. branches of global corporations, and entertainers.

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