The Department of Homeland Security has just announced that they will be accepting an additional 15,000 temporary workers for agricultural jobs under the H-2B program. The Secretary of Labor and the Secretary of Homeland Security have come to the conclusion that there are not enough willing and able seasonal agricultural U.S. workers and that as a result, businesses across the country are suffering.
Beginning this week, those who are eligible to file a petition can submit Form I-129. Congress states that this is only going to be a one-time increase in the number of H-2B visa workers. Agricultural businesses who believe they may “suffer irreparable harm” will have to demonstrate this in their petition. It is important for both agricultural businesses and H-2B visa applicants to be aware that this extension is only valid through the rest of the fiscal year of 2017. This means that the visas will only be administered between now and September 30, 2017, because that is when the fiscal year ends.
The United States only accepts 66,000 H-2B visas each fiscal year and 33,000 of those visas are only available in the first half of the fiscal year, which ends on March 31.
If you have questions regarding your eligibility for this additional pool of applicants, contact our firm today.
If you are in need of experienced legal counsel for matters regarding immigration, please contact the Law Offices of Salvatore A. Falletta, LLC and we would be happy to provide you with assistance.