From labor disputes cases to labor and employment publications, for your research, you’ll find solutions on Bloomberg Law®. Protect your clients by developing strategies based on Litigation...
Employers sought several thousand more seasonal foreign workers this spring than there are visas available, resulting in a lottery for the visas.
This is the first time USCIS has ever conducted a lottery for H-2B visas, USCIS spokeswoman Joanne Talbot told Bloomberg Law March 1. The lottery process has been used for H-1B high-skill visas, which have also seen high demand from businesses in recent years.
The visas, which are popular in the landscaping, amusement, and resort industries, have been growing in demand over time. With that demand now exceeding supply, it’s possible again this year that seasonal businesses could be short workers.
Last year’s shortage prompted Congress to direct the Homeland Security Department to increase the number of visas available for the rest of the spring and summer.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services March 1 announced that employers submitted 2,700 petitions covering 47,000 H-2B workers during the first five business days petitions could be sent. Only 33,000 H-2B visas are available during the second half of fiscal year 2018, which begins April 1.
The agency conducted a lottery Feb. 28 to determine which petitions it will process, the USCIS said. All those that weren’t selected, as well as those received after Feb. 27, will be returned to employers.
H-2B workers currently in the U.S. who are seeking extensions of their visas don’t count against the cap and can continue to apply, the USCIS said. Fish roe processors, fish roe technicians, and supervisors of fish roe processing also don’t count against the cap, nor do H-2B workers in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and Guam.
The Labor Department earlier this year announced that it had received applications covering 81,600 H-2B workers on Jan. 1, signaling that a shortage of the visas was likely.
Following last year’s shortage, the DHS allowed an additional 15,000 visas for businesses that could demonstrate “irreparable harm” without them. The agency ultimately issued 12,294 visas under that extension.
Congress in prior years also has used government spending measures to enact a “returning worker” exemption. The exemption allows businesses to bring in H-2B workers and not have them count against the visa cap if those workers had come to the U.S. on an H-2B visa in at least one of the prior three fiscal years.
There hasn’t been any word yet this year on whether lawmakers will do so again this year.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)