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The offices of U.S. Sen. John Hickenlooper and Michael Bennet on Thursday issued the following press release on the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of Labor (DOL) releasing an additional 35,000 H-2B temporary nonagricultural worker visas for the second half of 2022:
U.S. Senators John Hickenlooper and Michael Bennet today welcomed an announcement by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of Labor (DOL) that an additional 35,000 H-2B temporary nonagricultural worker visas would be made available for the second half of fiscal year 2022. These visas will be available for U.S. employers to hire workers from April 1, 2022 through Sept. 30, 2022.
In February, Hickenlooper and Bennet called on DHS and DOL to release more H-2B Visas in order to help U.S. employers cope with labor shortages.
“Immigration can help our labor shortages,” said Hickenlooper. “The H-2B program works, and this increase will be a lifeline for employers.”
“Our nation’s workforce shortage contributes to our supply chain issues that are driving up costs for Coloradans,” said Bennet. “This is a welcome step, and can do more to address these challenges by passing meaningful and common-sense immigration reform.”
23,500 H-2B visas will be made available to returning workers, who received an H-2B visa in the last three years. Another 11,500 visas are reserved for nationals of Haiti, Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador.
The H-2B program permits employers to temporarily hire noncitizens to perform nonagricultural labor or services in the United States. The employment must be for a limited period of time, such as a one-time occurrence, seasonal, or intermittent need.
Employers seeking to hire H-2B workers must provide certification from the Department of Labor that proves there are not enough U.S. workers who are able, willing, qualified, and available to do the temporary work for which they seeking a foreign worker, and that employing the H-2B workers will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of U.S. workers.