The United States will grant employers up to 35,000 new H-2B visas for temporary foreign workers for jobs between April 1 and September 30, according to a government statement posted online Wednesday.
The expansion of H-2B visas, used to hire landscapers, housekeepers, hotel employees, and construction and fairground workers, among others, for the summer vacation season, comes amid growing record employment and labor shortage in the United States.
Businesses have been gearing up to welcome summer travelers after two years of the pandemic, and increased demand has sparked concerns about possible long lines and other problems.
The advisory from the Departments of Homeland Security and Labor is aimed at US employers who face “irreparable harm” if they cannot secure additional workers and is intended to “provide temporary mobility flexibility.”
In January, officials had granted an additional 20,000 visas — also for H-2B workers who are often temporary and in nonagricultural jobs — amid shrinking labor force participation.
Policymakers in the United States have focused on trying to get more Americans into the workforce as they grapple with high inflation, rising gas prices and other problems two years after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. 19.