immigration

Recruiting Workforce From Haiti and Central America?

Many noncitizens aspire to come to the United States to work due to high salaries and healthy working environments. In January 2023, U.S. President Joe Biden declared a new program to allow the nationals of Haiti to travel by air and apply for work authorization in the country. The plan resembles similar programs launched last year for Venezuelans and Ukrainians. Biden had announced the program with a package of border enforcement plans. U.S. employers who wish to recruit employees from Haiti ( or Honduras, Guatemala, or El Salvador) must note the official information regarding 2023 work visas.

The Secretary of Homeland Security and the Secretary of Labor exercise the time-bound Fiscal Year 2023 authority with the increasing number of noncitizens who might receive an H-2B nonimmigrant visa by up to a total of 64,716 for the entirety of F.Y. 2023. Out of the total number of visas, the Departments decide to reserve 20,000 visas for the citizens of Haiti, Honduras, Guatemala, or El Salvadore. While petitions for employees who will start working from the first half of F.Y. 2023 commenced in mid-December of 2022. Employers who will request start dates in the second half of FY 2023 may file up to 15 days after the second half statutory cap is met. USCIS will declare the date in a public announcement. For the first time, the developments have issued a single rule for the H-2B supplemental visas for several allocations throughout the fiscal year, including an allocation for the late second half. The temporary final rule features several provisions to protect the H-2B and the US workers from exploitation and abuse.

*Statutory cap: Statutory numerical limit on the total number of noncitizens who might receive an H-2B visa or be granted a H-2B status during the FY.

What is the H-2B Visa Program?

The H-2B nonimmigrant program permits U.S. employers to hire nonimmigrants temporarily to perform nonagricultural labor or services in the United States. With an H-2B Status, the visa holder may live in the USA for up to 3 years. Worker's spouses and unmarried children under 21 may seek admission in the H-4 nonimmigrant classification, and although dependents cannot work, they can attend school.

By making these additional visas available at the beginning of the fiscal year, from October 1, 2022, the Department of Homeland Security acts swiftly to address employers’ needs for additional seasonal workers. As mentioned earlier, the H-2B supplemental includes a grant of 20,000 visas to the workers from Haiti and the Central American countries of Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador. If you are interested in recruiting a workforce from any of these countries, contact us today.

The H-2B statute limits the total number of H-2B visas every year up to 66,000. In recent years, the demand for permits has been on a hike.

  • Employers with workforce members from other countries (other than the four above) must note that there are 18,216 additional visas immediately available for returning workers from any eligible country for the first half of F.Y. 2023. The petitions must request a start date on or before March 31, 2023.
  • For the early second half of FY 2023, from April 1 to May 14, 16,500 visas are protected for returning workers regardless of country or nationality. The petitions must be filed no earlier than 15 days after the second half of the statutory cap reaches. USCIS will publish the date shortly.
  • 10,000 visas are limited to returning workers from the eligible countries for the late second half of FY 2023, from May 15 to September 30. USCIS will announce the date in a public announcement. Petitions may be filed by 45 days after the second half statutory cap reaches.

Key Points to consider:

  • Up to 30,000 Haitian nationals will arrive in the United States via parole for up to 2 years, and they must have permission to work authorization in the country.

  • Immigration officers assess the applicants on a case-by-case basis. The candidates must pass the security and public safety screenings, have country-based supporters, complete vaccinations, and meet all the public health requirements.

  • Individuals who will enter the nation without proper authorization are ineligible.

  • The USA-based individuals and organizations who/that want to become supporters must prove their ability to offer financial support and pass background checks. They can apply to support the eligible individuals via https://www.uscis.gov/

To get to work immediately on filing petitions, you must complete the online procedure. The application process can be confusing. Additionally, filing the petition correctly and without mistakes is necessary for your legal approval into the U.S. It is essential to know that you do not need to do the process alone.

Whether it is you, any of your family members, or a friend from Haiti, Honduras, Guatemala, or El Salvador interested in joining the workforce in the USA legally, Sekou Clark Law Group is here for you. With first-hand experience in U.S. immigration, legal work authorization, and financial process, you can count on us. Our team is with you at every step of the process. Reach out to our dedicated attorneys' team to get the best assistance.

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