Caps Reached for H-2B Guest Worker Visa Program

Home builders seeking to access the H-2B temporary worker program to ease labor shortages will find that all available visas have been allocated for the current fiscal year. No new applications will be accepted for employment start dates before Oct. 1, 2019. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced it has received enough petitions to meet the congressionally mandated H-2B cap of 66,000 visas for the fiscal year ending on Oct. 1. The H-2B program allows employers to hire temporary foreign workers for seasonal, non-agricultural positions. In past years, roughly half of the visas have gone to landscaping businesses. Due to the high demand, many employers that rely on H-2B workers for peak or seasonal business needs when local labor isn’t available – including those in the construction sector – are now shut out of the program at least through Oct. 1. NAHB continues to press Congress and the Department of Homeland Security for expansion of the program – including reinstatement of an expired provision that would exempt workers from being counted towards the annual cap if they came into the United States on an H-2B visa in any of three prior years – so that more companies in the construction sector will be able to access temporary labor. For more information, contact J.P. Delmore at 800-368-5242 x8412.

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