President Lifts Some Travel Restrictions; H2-B Visa Cap Reached For Second Half FY2021

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Sarah Andrew

President Biden issued a Proclamation Wednesday to revoke Proclamation 10014 (Suspension of Entry of Immigrants Who Present a Risk to the United States Labor Market During the Economic Recovery Following the 2019 Novel Coronavirus Outbreak) and sections of related Proclamations that added non-immigrants to the travel suspension.

The Proclamation 10014 prevented certain immigrants and nonimmigrants from traveling to the United States. Included in this group were individuals who either were selected to receive the opportunity to apply for visas–including H-2B visas–through the Fiscal Year 2020 Diversity Visa Lottery or who had already received such visas, causing labor challenges for many industries, including the horse racing industry. President Biden's Proclamation revokes these restrictions.

In other foreign worker developments, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that it had received enough H-2B worker petitions by Feb. 12 to reach the congressionally mandated H-2B visa cap of 33,000 visas for the second half of fiscal year 2021. In December, the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 became law and included a provision that provides the DHS with the discretionary authority to release an additional 64,716 H-2B visas when sufficient need is demonstrated.

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