Table 1

Estimated number of H-2A and H-2B workers employed in the United States, 2016

Number of workers
H-2A visas issued by the Department of State, 2016 134,368
H-2B visas issued
All visas issued in 2016 84,637
50 percent of visas issued in 2015 34,842
25 percent of visas issued in 2014 17,026
Subtotal H-2B 136,505
Subtotal H-2A + H-2B 270,873
H-2A adjustment into LPR status via employment-based preference (2016) -24
H-2B adjustment into LPR status via employment-based preference (2014-2016) -307
Estimated deaths of H-2B workers (89.5 per 100,000) -312
Total 270,230

Note: LPR refers to lawful permanent resident. DOL methodology to estimate the total population of H-2B workers was used to calculate H-2B subtotal. All references to a particular year should be understood to mean the U.S. government’s fiscal year (October 1–September 30). Adjustment of status for H-2A based on actual numbers for 2014 and and H-2B based on actual numbers for 2012-2014.

Source: U.S. Department of State, Nonimmigrant Visa Statistics website,; methodology for number of H-2B workers based on U.S. Department of Labor's methodology, explained in “Wage Methodology for the Temporary Non-Agricultural Employment H-2B Program; Final Rule” (20 CFR Part 655, RIN 1205–AB61). Federal Register vol. 76, no. 12 (January 19), 3469. Adjustment of status data acquired from USCIS through Freedom of Information Act request by Lazaro Zamora, Bipartisan Policy Center (unpublished). Mortality rate calculated from Centers for Disease Control data at

Copy the code below to embed this chart on your website.

This chart appears in:

Previous chart: «

Next chart: »