June 23, 2017
There have been reports this week that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has decided to offer extra H2B visas for temporary, seasonal workers. These visas are used for temporary, non-agriculture workers at a variety of businesses, including members of the horse industry; principally horse trainers and owners who cannot find American workers to fill semi-skilled jobs at racetracks, horse shows, fairs and in similar non-agricultural activities.
The government offers 66,000 such visas a year, with the 2017 cap having been met within the first 30 days of open enrollment. This left many organizations without access to the critical labor pool provided by the H-2B program. Trainers at racetracks around the country have reported difficulties in filling staff positions.
The extra visas will be available to employers that show they’d be significantly harmed if they aren’t able to temporarily hire foreign workers. DHS hasn’t decided how many visas will be offered but that number should be set soon. The department expects to start issuing visas as soon as late July.
If you have any questions, please contact the AHC.