The Trump Administration weighs release of additional visas per provisions OABA advocated for in the FY20 Appropriations Bill

By | February 24, 2020

In the FY20 Appropriations Conference Report, OABA advocated for a provision that granted DHS authority to release up to an additional 64,716 H-2B visas in FY2020 if the demand exceeds the current supply of 66,000.  This is the same language that we have operated under in the last three fiscal years.  In FY17 and FY18, the Administration released 15,000 extra visas and in FY19, the cap was increased by 30,000.  

Since the provision’s enactment into law, we have advocated for at least 30,000 extra visas and have pushed for the Administration to release the full amount of nearly 65,000.  Today, we learned about reports that the Trump administration is considering plans to allow up to 45,000 additional seasonal guest workers to return to the U.S. this summer – the highest number since the president took office.  We are awaiting final details on numbers and procedures for the allocation of the additional visas; however, we anticipate that the Administration will likely include Returning Worker Provisions again this year and it is our understanding that new “waste, fraud, abuse, and integrity” measures are being considered according to statements by Department of Homeland Security Secretary Wolf.  Additionally, the Secretary has indicated that the Department will most likely divide the visa numbers between Q3 and Q4 to make it more equitable for businesses who need visas at the end of the year. 

As more details are announced, we will keep you updated.

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