Employers Can Now File H2B Petitions for Returning Workers for FY2023

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is now accepting petitions for H2B workers for the late second half of fiscal year 2023 (FY2023), with employment start dates from May 15, 2023, to September 30, 2023. These 10,000 additional H2B visa numbers are available based on the H2B supplemental cap temporary final rule, which was published in the Federal Register in December 2022.

Overview of H2B Program

The H2B visa category is designed to help U.S. employers in industries with peak load, seasonal, or intermittent needs to augment the existing labor force with temporary workers. In addition, a U.S. employer may use the H2B program if there is a one-time occurrence that necessitates a temporary increase in workers. The H2B visa category is used by several different industries but is especially utilized by the construction and food services industries.

Availability of Supplementary Visas

The 10,000 supplementary visas made available are limited to returning workers who were issued H2B visas or held H2B status in fiscal years 2020, 2021, or 2022, regardless of country of nationality. These visas are available only to U.S. businesses that are suffering “irreparable harm or will suffer impending irreparable harm” without the ability to employ all the H2B workers requested in their petition, as attested by the employer on a new attestation form.


In conclusion, the availability of supplemental H2B visa numbers for returning workers provides supplemental and much-needed relief for businesses that rely on temporary seasonal workers. While this may not completely solve the ongoing labor shortage in certain industries, it is a step in the right direction towards a more predictable temporary workforce.


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Disclaimer: The information provided here is of a general nature and may not apply to any specific or particular circumstance. It is not to be construed as legal advice nor presumed indefinitely up to date.