World

U.S. to offer 15000 extra temporary worker visas this year

U.S. to offer 15000 extra temporary worker visas this year

On Monday the Department of Homeland Security said it would allow another 15,000 workers this fiscal year, but only for businesses "likely to suffer irreparable harm" without them. Petitioners seeking to hire more visa workers must prove their businesses would sustain "irreparable harm" if they're unable to bring in the foreign workers.

Under authority provided by Congress, the Secretary of Homeland Security is permitted to allow the additional visas after determining that the needs of US businesses can't be satisfied with Americans willing and qualified to do the work.

Josh Bass, president of the Currituck Chamber of Commerce, which covers the northern section of North Carolina´s popular Outer Banks Atlantic seashore, said the shortage of H-2B visas had made things for hard for local businesses, and caused at least one to shut down. Foreign workers with H-2B visas are qualified for positions in hospitality, maintenance, retail, warehouses, theme parks, landscaping and security.

The number of H-2B visas had been capped for this year at 66,000.

The department met its cap for the visa applications in March.

While he was still serving in the Senate, Attorney General Jeff Sessions previous year sent a letter to the Senate Appropriations Committee asking them not to dramatically increase the number of H-2B visas as the House had done in a temporary spending bill.




This isn't the first time the federal government has issued additional H-2B visas after the annual cap was reached.

The release of a new batch of seasonal worker visas is sending ME hotels and restaurant owners scrambling to submit applications before the supply of new visas is exhausted.

A senior DHS official told NBC News that businesses applying for the program must state that they will be irreparably harmed without a workforce boost, so the additional visas are consistent with an "America First" policy.

Businesses have been vocal in demanding an expansion of the H-2B program, saying there are not enough American workers to fill the temporary jobs they need to operate. "This does help with American businesses continuing to prosper".

But they said the increase was part of Trump´s "America First" effort to strengthen United States industry.


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