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Trump Administration Plans to Raise Cap For H-2B Seasonal Worker Visas

WASHINGTON—The Trump administration may allow an additional 45,000 guest workers to return to the U.S. this summer, but the final decision has not been confirmed. If the additional amount is approved, it would be the highest level since the president took office.

According to an administration official, the Department of Homeland Security plans to announce the additional seasonal visas next week.  The visas will become available in two phases: the first 20,000 will be available immediately, while employers can apply for the remainder for jobs beginning June 1.

The additional visas are being made available before summer, when demand for short-term seasonal work is typically highest. Also, the visas will be primarily available to workers who have previously qualified to H-2B visas because the administration has more confidence that they will leave the U.S. at the end of their job assignment.

Currently, the H-2B visa program enables U.S. employers to hire as many as 66,000 foreign workers per year (split evenly between winter and summer seasons). Last year, there were 100,000 applications for the summer season on January 1, 2019 – which was three times the number of available visas.

If you have questions about the H-2B visa program, please call our U.S. immigration lawyers at 212-203-4795.

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