Congress considering bill on H-2B worker visas

When a business wants to bring a worker from another country into the U.S. temporarily for a job, a visa is generally required. There are multiple types of work-related visas here in America. There are numerous factors which can impact which type of visa would be most appropriate for a given employee.

One is the skill level of the worker. For example, H-2B visas are intended for workers in low-skill jobs. Jobs these visas are commonly obtained for include jobs in: groundskeeping, housekeeping, forestry/conservation, landscaping, construction, restaurant service, poultry production and seafood production.

Immigration law attorneys can help businesses that are seeking to hire temporary workers from other countries with determining what the best visa type would be for the workers they are wanting to hire. They can also assist such businesses with dealing with the challenges that can come up in connection to employment-related immigration.

There can be many things that can pose difficulties for companies when it comes to getting visas for foreign workers they wish to hire. One such thing are immigration caps. There are a variety of different caps in U.S. immigration law. For example, when it comes to H-2B visas, U.S. law caps the number of workers who can receive such a visa in a single year at 66,000.

There are some exceptions to visa caps. A bill is currently before Congress that would add an exception to the H-2B visa cap. Specifically, it would make it so H-2B visas granted to workers who are returning to the U.S. after having previously had a visa within the past three years would not be counted towards the cap. This could end up significantly increasing the number of H-2B workers U.S. employers, overall, could bring in in a year.

The bill also reportedly would make some changes to “prevailing wage” calculations for temporary workers from other countries.

Source: USA Today, “Congress considers bringing in more foreign workers to fill seasonal jobs,” Erin Kelly, Nov. 12, 2015