H-2B Petitions for Returning Workers 2021 | What to Know

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H-2B Petitions for Returning Workers 2021 | What to Know

The H-2B visa programs allow United States employers to bring foreigners to the country in order to fill nonagricultural jobs. The work is temporary, meaning it will only occur one time, it is seasonal work, or it is either peak-load or intermittent need. This is a highly competitive program for many people because the United States puts a cap on the number of people who are eligible to be employed as an H-2B nonimmigrant worker each year. Read on to learn more about the H-2B visa program and what petitioning employers need to know.

What are the Employer Requirements?

If you are an employer interested in filing an H-2B petition, you will have to prove the following:

  • There are not enough U.S. workers who are able, willing, qualified, and available to do the work.
  • Employing H-2B workers will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of similarly employed U.S. workers.
  • The need for the prospective worker’s services or labor is temporary, regardless of whether the underlying job can be described as temporary.

What do Employers Need to Know?

Recently, uscis.gov has announced that employers may file H-2B petitions if “they are likely to suffer irreparable harm without these additional workers. A petitioner must file a new Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, together with an approved and valid temporary labor certification that states an employment start date for the second half of the fiscal year, and attest that these noncitizens will be returning workers. Returning workers are defined as workers who were issued an H-2B visa or otherwise granted H-2B status in FY 2018, 2019, or 2020. USCIS will accept petitions for returning workers until Sept. 15, 2021, or until the remainder of the cap is reached, whichever occurs first.”

If you have any questions about the H-2B program, contact our firm to speak with an experienced immigration law attorney. We are here to address any questions or concerns you may have.


Katona & Associates, PLLC is an experienced, highly dedicated New York City immigration law firm located in lower Manhattan. Our firm works with clients in all matters of immigration law, including employment immigration, family immigration, deportation defense, green cards, and citizenship. Contact us to discuss your case and get the help you need.

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