The most recent budget bill thankfully includes limited visa cap relief for the H-2B category.
Assuming the budget bill passes this week, the Department of Homeland Security will be able to increase the number of H-2B visas to 129,547. The Department of Homeland Security will need to confer with the Secretary of the Department of Labor to confirm there is an economic need for the increase in visa numbers. Given the demand for the visas and the clear shortfall that already exists, there is significant pressure on the administration to help businesses that depend on temporary labor quickly. Businesses need to keep up the pressure on the adminstration to act to save their summer seasons.
The proposed visa cap relief provision is:
SEC. 543. Notwithstanding the numerical limitation set forth in section 214(g)(1)(B) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1184(g)(1)(B)), the Secretary of Homeland Security, after consultation with the Secretary of Labor, and upon the determination that the needs of American businesses cannot be satisfied in fiscal year 2017 with United States workers who are willing, qualified, and able to perform temporary nonagricultural labor, may increase the total number of aliens who may receive a visa under section 101(a)(15)(H)(ii)(b) of such Act (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(15)(H)(ii)(b)) in such fiscal year above such limitation by not more than the highest number of H–2B nonimmigrants who participated in the H–2B returning worker program in any fiscal year in which returning workers were exempt from such numerical limitation.