"We are pleased with this announcement due to the much-needed relief it provides to our landscaping industry to find additional workers they desperately need to operate," said Craig Regelbrugge, Executive Vice President of Advocacy, Research and Industry Relations. "We look forward to continuing to work hard with the H-2B Workforce Coalition to urge Congress to address the outdated H-2B visa cap and pursue long-term relief."
In addition to 20,000 visas reserved for nationals of Haiti and the Northern Central American countries, the remaining 44,716 supplemental visas will be available to returning workers who received an H-2B visa, or were otherwise granted H-2B status, during one of the last three fiscal years. The regulation will help meet demand during peak season by allocating the remaining supplemental visas for returning workers between the first half and second half of the fiscal year, which began Oct. 1, 2022. Reserving visas for nationals of Haiti and Northern Central American countries of Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador advances the Biden Administration’s pledge to address irregular migration from those countries.
The departments also announced the creation of the H-2B Worker Protection Taskforce which will consider a variety of policy options to address threats to the integrity of the program and will provide an opportunity for relevant stakeholders to offer input.
For additional details on this announcement, the press release from the H-2B Workforce Coalition is available in its entirety here, and the release from the Department of Homeland Security is available here.