H-2B Visa Shortage and Other Immigration Issues Hold Up U.S. Budget as Deadline Nears

The H-2B visa shortage continues, impacting thousands of U.S. businesses around other country. H-2B visas are used widely in hospitality and tourism, landscaping and the construction industry to hire foreign workers for temporary nonagricultural work.  There are 66,000 available annually – half for the winter season and half for the summer season. The first step to obtain an H-2B visa is to file a labor certification with the Department of Labor.   In the first day of the year, the DOL received requests for labor certifications that would have represented 88,000 workers – well beyond the statutory quota and the resources of the DOL.  As a result, the DOL held any approved labor certifications until February 20, 2018. This created a wave of H-2B applications to USCIS on February 22 and February 23.  On February 28, 2018, without any prior announcement, the USCIS conducted a random lottery to select the petitions that would be…

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