Bennet, Hickenlooper Welcome Announcement of Additional 35,000 H-2B Visas This Year

Announcement Follows Letter From Senators Urging DHS & DOL to Increase the H-2B Cap

Washington, D.C. - Colorado U.S. Senators Michael Bennet and John Hickenlooper 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, Bennet and Hickenlooper called on DHS and DOL to release more  H-2B Visas in order to help U.S. employers cope with labor shortages.

“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 we can do more to address these challenges by passing meaningful and common-sense immigration reform.”

“Immigration can help our labor shortages,” said Hickenlooper. “The H-2B program works, and this increase will be a lifeline for employers.”

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.?