NTRA Addressing H2-B Visa Challenges

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Feb. 19,2015) -- Racehorse trainers that use the H2-B visa program to hire non-agricultural temporary seasonal foreign nationals face a potential shortage of available workers and possible wage rate increases for fiscal year 2015.

Congress limits H-2B visas to only 66,000 issued each fiscal year and further divides the year in half (October 1 – March 31; April 1 – September 30) to manage the program. Earlier this month, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it had received a sufficient number of petitions to reach the cap for the first half of FY 2015. Thus, USCIS will reject new petitions received after January 26 that request an employment start date prior to April 1. Click here for more information on this cap.

Additionally, the Department of Labor (DOL) has announced that it will no longer issue prevailing wage determinations based on employer provided wage surveys. Information from the DOL’s Occupational Employment Statistics database will instead be used and is expected to lead to higher labor costs for H-2B employers.

The NTRA is addressing these challenges through its involvement with the H-2B Workforce Coalition. Click here for a February 17 Coalition letter to Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS), Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee.