03.05.20

35,000 additional H-2B Visas Available This Year

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced it is making available an additional 35,000 H-2B visas for seasonal guest workers to return to the United States this summer to work. They will be available in two batches: 20,000 will be available on April 1, and 15,000 will be available on May 15. Details on how employers can apply to receive these additional workers will be made available by DHS in the coming days. Those details will be posted at https://www.dhs.gov/, and we’ll be sure to update you as well. 

In South Dakota, where we have record low unemployment rates, many of our seasonal tourism and construction businesses rely on H-2B workers to meet the demands of their customers. The H-2B visa program allows employers to hire foreign workers for short-term jobs before the workers must return to their home country. I have been working to increase the statutory cap on the number of available H-2B visas each year, because there is such high demand for them across the country.

While we want to see a permanent fix for the H-2B visa program going forward, this announcement is a step in the right direction. The administration is making more visas available than last year, and the visas are being released at an earlier date. South Dakota’s businesses need to be able to plan for the future, and I will continue to work toward a permanent solution to make sure employers are able to access H-2B visa workers when they need them.