The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Foreign Labor Certification has published assignment groups for employers seeking cap-subject H-2B visas for workers with April 1 start dates.

Key Points:

  • Between Jan. 1 and Jan. 3, OFLC received 8,693 H-2B applications covering 142,796 worker positions.
  • OFLC completed its randomization process and assigned applications to one of seven groups, from A to G. Group A includes enough worker positions to meet the semiannual H-2B cap of 33,000. Each subsequent group includes no more than 20,000 worker positions.
  • OFLC, through the National Processing Center, will now process applications in order of assignments and issue Notice of Deficiencies or Notice of Acceptances to Employers.
  • Upon receiving a Notice of Acceptance, employers will initiate recruitment in an effort to hire U.S. workers for the position in question, including posting a notice of the job opportunity for 15 business days. Employers then respond to the Notice of Acceptance in order to receive a Temporary Labor Certification, receipt of which allows employers to move forward with the I-129 Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker before DHS.
  • Fifteen days after USCIS announces that enough I-129s have been filed to reach the 33,000 cap, OFLC will begin releasing visas available under the supplemental allotment for the second half of FY 2023. Of the 64,716 visas available in the supplemental allotment, 20,000 are reserved specifically for nationals of El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti and Honduras.

BAL Analysis: The number of applications demonstrates the ongoing popularity of the H-2B program. The limited number of visas means that even with the supplemental allotment, some employers will not be able to hire workers for whom they had submitted applications. Employers are encouraged to work closely with BAL on H-2B strategies, including the possibility of recruiting workers from El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti and Honduras. BAL will continue following H-2B developments and will provide updates as information becomes available.

This alert has been provided by the BAL U.S. Practice Group. For additional information, please contact

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