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US to issue additional H-2B visas for fiscal year 2023

The H-2B visas, meant for unskilled foreign workers for the financial year 2023

US to issue additional H-2B visas for fiscal year 2023
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In a first, the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of Labor (DOL) will be issuing a temporary final rule that makes 64,716 additional H-2B visas available for fiscal year 2023.

The H-2B visas, meant for unskilled foreign workers for the financial year 2023, will guarantee that US businesses can plan for their peak season labour needs.

In an official statement, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) said these supplemental H-2B visas are for American employers seeking to petition for additional workers at certain periods of the fiscal year before 15 September next year.

As most Indians do not opt for the H-2B visa, the move by the USCIS is unlikely to make any significant impact on them.

Indians generally do not opt for H-2B visas as the majority of them migrating to the US are highly skilled professionals employed by American companies in speciality occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise. H-1B visas are required for such immigrants.

For the first half of fiscal 2023, there are 18,216 immediately available visas limited to returning workers regardless of country of nationality.

For the early second half of fiscal 2023 (1 Apr to 14 May), there are 16,500 visas available and for the late second half of fiscal 2023 (15 May to 30 Sept), 10,000 visas will be issued, the notification read.

This is the first time the US has issued a single rule making available H-2B supplemental visas for several allocations throughout the entire fiscal year, including an allocation for the late second half, according to the statement.

The temporary final rule features several provisions to protect both US and H-2B workers from exploitation and abuse.

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