The U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Department of Labor issued a joint temporary final rule published Tuesday in the Federal Register that offers 22,000 additional H-2B visas to employers for the second half of the federal fiscal year that ends Sept. 30, 2021. The visas, used by employers such as racehorse trainers seeking seasonal guest workers, are capped at 66,000 annually, with an even split of 33,000 available for each half of the federal government's fiscal year. Six thousand of these supplemental visas will be reserved for nationals of the Northern Triangle countries of Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala.
“The 22,000 H-2B visas offered through this rule issued by the DHS and DOL will be helpful to employers who rely on the H-2B visa program, including trainers, but many more of these visas are ultimately required to satisfy the need,” said NTRA President and CEO Alex Waldrop. “For that reason, the NTRA, through its involvement in the H-2B Workforce Coalition, supports additional relief from the burdensome annual H-2B visa cap through a permanent returning worker exemption.”
The H-2B visa guest worker program is a nonimmigrant visa program which trainers rely heavily on to fill various backside positions. Demand for H-2B visas often exceeds their availability and the cap level is quickly reached, leaving employers in need. Employers can find eligibility and filing details here.