30,000 additional H-2B visas made available
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30,000 additional H-2B visas made available

The additional visas will go to seasonal workers who previously worked in the U.S. during one of the last three fiscal years.

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AmericanHort reported that on March 29, the Department of Homeland Security announced that it plans to release an additional 30,000 H-2B workers for returning immigrant workers.

AmericanHort credited its advocacy team, industry leaders, association members, state association partners, and like-minded industries participating in the H-2B Workforce Coalition. 

The severe shortage of seasonal worker visas has meant huge uncertainty and economic harm for landscape businesses. The negative economic impact has also spilled over to affect nursery and greenhouse growers, equipment providers, and others in the landscape supply chain. 

Though this number of additional visas is less than half the 69,320 additional visas Congress authorized and certainly falls well short of current demand, it is double the number that have been made available in the past two fiscal years. The 30,000 visas will be made available via a temporary final rule that will soon be published in the Federal Register. 

“These additional visas will certainly provide some relief for our members who have been shut out of the H-2B program this year due to the cap,” Craig Regelbrugge, AmericanHort senior vice president for advocacy and research said. “Many thanks to our champions in the U.S. Senate and House who have continued to help us push for visa cap relief.”  

AmericanHort will provide additional details once the rule is published in the Federal Register.