FY 2018 Federal Funding Law Includes H-2B Visa Increase

The 2018 funding government funding bill included language that allows the Department of Homeland Security to work with the Department of Labor to increase the number of H-2B worker visas issued. The provision allows the agencies to determine if there is a need to increase the number of visas from 66,000 to up to 129,547. The H-2B program allows U.S. employers who meet specific regulatory requirements to bring foreign nationals to the United States to fill temporary (seasonal) nonagricultural jobs.
While the increase appears to be welcome relief, the language gives the Secretary of Homeland Security the ultimate discretion whether or not to increase the number of H-2B’s and to what level.  In 2017, Congress included the same language in that year’s spending bill, but the Department of Homeland Security ended up only issuing an additional 15,000 visas by the time the determination was made (following the summer season).  Employers eventually used 13,534 of the extra visas.  There have been no indications when Homeland Security will make their determinations this year.
For more information, contact Jim Young at [email protected] or (202) 547-0133.

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