The Department of Homeland Security is now accepting petitions for an additional 30,000 FY 2019 H-2B visas, according to a regulation published today. DHS and DOL announced Monday that they would jointly authorize a one-time increase of 30,000 H-2B visas in FY 2019 above the 66,000 annual cap. In a shift from previous years, this year’s supplemental visa numbers are reserved for foreign beneficiaries who have held H-2B status in at least one of the past three fiscal years. Employers will still be required to attest that they would suffer irreparable harm without additional temporary non-agricultural workers as well as meet other requirements.
Qualifying employers may submit petitions until the additional quota numbers are exhausted or until September 16, 2019, whichever is earlier. Petitions not approved before October 1, 2019 will be denied and fees will not be refunded.
The FY 2019 increase was authorized under a provision in the federal spending bill passed earlier this year.