National Roofing Legal Resource Center

DHS begins issuing more H-2B visas for 2017

After announcing in late June it would issue additional visas under the H-2B seasonal guest worker program for 2017, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a regulation that grants 15,000 such visas and began processing applications from businesses desperate for workers. DHS's action is the result of NRCA and allied groups urging Congress to provide new authority to the agency to issue additional H-2B visas beyond the annual statutory cap of 66,000 visas if DHS determines there is an economic need. However, DHS indicated visas would only be issued to businesses that can demonstrate they will experience "irreparable harm" without additional workers, a new requirement that is not well defined and may be difficult for some employers to meet. Moreover, it is unclear whether the additional visas will be processed in time to provide relief to seasonal businesses dependent on H-2B workers.


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