DHS To Supplement H-2B Cap With Nearly 65,000 Additional Visas For FY 2024

The JTP Agency
November 8, 2023

In a significant move to address labor shortages and promote lawful immigration, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), in consultation with the Department of Labor (DOL), has announced plans to make an additional 64,716 H-2B temporary nonagricultural worker visas available for Fiscal Year (FY) 2024. This substantial increase, which comes on top of the congressionally mandated 66,000 H-2B visas granted annually, represents the maximum allowed under the September 2023 Fiscal Year 2024 Continuing Resolution.

Addressing Labor Shortages and Promoting Lawful Pathways

The expansion of the H-2B visa program is a direct response to the growing need for seasonal and temporary workers across various industries, including hospitality, tourism, landscaping, and seafood processing. American businesses rely on these workers to meet consumer demand and maintain economic growth.

Moreover, the increase aligns with the Biden Administration's commitment to expanding lawful pathways for immigration as an alternative to irregular migration. By providing more opportunities for temporary workers to enter the country legally, the Administration aims to reduce the reliance on smugglers and other dangerous means of migration.

Ensuring Protections for U.S. and Foreign Workers

While recognizing the importance of the H-2B visa program, DHS and DOL are also committed to safeguarding the rights and protections of both U.S. and foreign workers. To this end, they have implemented robust measures, including:

  • Requiring employers to first seek out and recruit American workers for the jobs to be filled.
  • Ensuring that foreign workers hired are not exploited by unscrupulous employers.
  • Proposing regulations to further strengthen worker protections in the H-2A and H-2B visa programs.

Key Points of the H-2B Visa Expansion

The H-2B visa expansion includes the following key points:

  • An allocation of 20,000 visas to workers from Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, and Honduras.
  • 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 in the past three fiscal years.
  • The allocation of supplemental visas will be divided between the first and second halves of the fiscal year to address seasonal labor needs.
  • A portion of the second half allocation will be reserved to meet peak summer season labor demands.


The expansion of the H-2B visa program is a welcome development for American businesses and foreign workers alike. It will help to address labor shortages, promote economic growth, and provide lawful pathways for immigration. DHS and DOL's commitment to protecting workers' rights further ensures that the program is administered fairly and responsibly.

Source from: https://www.dhs.gov/news/2023/11/03/dhs-supplement-h-2b-cap-nearly-65000-additional-visas-fiscal-year-2024