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Immigration Update: H-2B Visa Expansion and I-9 News

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October has been a busy month for immigration—over the past few days, there have been announcements regarding both the H-2B Visa and Form I-9.

DHS Supplements H-2B Cap with Additional Visas

On October 12, 2022, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), in consultation with the Department of Labor (DOL) announced it would make an additional 64,716 H-2B temporary nonagricultural worker visas available for the 2023 fiscal year—roughly doubling the number of available H-2B visas. This is great news for businesses struggling to fill temporary positions and the second time this year that DHS has supplemented the H-2B visa cap; DHS and DOL made 35,000 additional H-2B visas available for the second half of the 2022 fiscal year.
Of the 64,716 new H-2B visas made available, 20,000 are allocated to workers from Haiti, Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador. The Biden administration has pledged to expand legal pathways as an alternative to irregular migration, ensuring migration is a choice rather than a necessity. The remaining 44,716 H-2B visas are available to certain returning H-2B workers.
The H-2B visa program allows employers to hire foreign workers for temporary, non-agricultural positions in the U.S. H-2B workers are employed in a variety of industries, including construction, landscaping, hospitality, tourism, and seafood processing. Businesses that employ H-2B workers must meet specific requirements, most notably, that there are not enough U.S. workers to perform the jobs and that employing H-2B workers will not negatively affect the wages and working conditions of similarly employed U.S. workers. 
In addition to announcing supplemental H-2B visas, the creation of an “H-2B Worker Protection Taskforce” was also announced. The intent of the task force is to protect vulnerable H-2B workers from exploitation and ensure employers don’t use the H-2B program to avoid hiring U.S. workers.

Form I-9 Announcement

If you’ve recently looked at the current I-9 form, you’ve likely noticed that it has an October 31, 2022 expiration date. Despite its expiration date, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced on October 11, 2022, that employers should continue using the current form—even after its expiration date—until further notice. Form I-9 is used to verify the identity and employment eligibility of individuals hired in the U.S., including both citizens and noncitizens.  

GoffWilson Immigration Law

GoffWilson Immigration Law solely practices immigration and is a valuable partner to businesses employing a global workforce. From help securing much-needed H-2B visas to I-9 services such as training and seminars and comprehensive audits, GoffWilson helps businesses take advantage of the worldwide workforce and remain in compliance with ever-changing and complex immigration laws. Contact GoffWilson today to discover we can help you hire, secure, and employ talent from around the globe. Immigration isn’t just what we do, it’s our passion!
Filed under:Form I-9 Compliance, Immigration Law