The United States Department of Homeland Security has reserved 6,000 visas for nationals of the Northern Triangle countries (Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala), regardless of whether those nationals are returning H-2B temporary nonagricultural guest visas workers.
On May 25, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security 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.
A statement from the Department of Homeland Security said that “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 likely to suffer irreparable harm, or in other words, permanent and severe financial loss if unable to employ all the H-2B employees requested in their petitions.”
“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.”
It added that “If, by July 8, 2021, fewer than 6,000 beneficiaries are requested toward the visas set aside for nationals of the Northern Triangle countries, we will announce on our 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.