H-2B Visa Update: 3/7/2019
Congressman Harris, Congresswoman Pingree, and Senator Rounds, Tillis, and Bennet issued a letter to Secretary Nielsen of the Department of Homeland Security urging her to release the additional 69,320 H2B visas as given authority in the 2019 DHS appropriations bill. Signatures on the letter were gathered from over 100 members of the house and approximately 30 senators.
To view the final copy of the letter, click here.
Secretary Nielsen spoke at a homeland security hearing yesterday, however, there was no public mention of the release of H-2B visas. President Trump spoke this past Saturday at CPAC and discussed how unemployment was down to 3.7% - the lowest number in years. He mentioned how many new companies were coming to America and now the need to bring in workers to help staff these businesses, but that the employees had to enter the country legally. You can view an excerpt from the speech below:
What if no additional visas are released?
Without Secretary Nielsen releasing the additional visas, over 2/3 of the businesses who applied for foreign workers will not receive them. The cap of 33,000 H-2B workers for an April 1 start date was met during the week of February 22, meaning, if you have not received approval from USCIS on your workers, you will not receive them without cap relief provided by Secretary Nielsen.
In 2017 and 2018, Secretary Nielsen released an additional 15,000 visas. If the same number is released in 2019, your chances of getting your petition accepted, processed and workers for FY19 is about 22%. If an additional 30,000 visas are released, your statistical probability of getting workers is 44%. If 45,000 additional visas are released, your statistical probability of getting workers is 66%. If the Secretary Nielsen were to issue all of the additional visas authorized, your statistical probability of getting workers is close to 100%, but there are NO guarantees.
What YOU can do to HELP:
- Call the DHS public comment line by dialing (202) 282-8495
- If you have not done so already, you should also email the USCIS' Ombusman at firstname.lastname@example.org on the immediate need for additional visas. Click here for a template;
- Stay in touch with your members of congress and urge them to ask Secretary Nielsen to release all 69,320 additional H2B visas.
- Tweet @DHSgov and @USDOL.