Record-setting Demand for H-2B Visas Amid Sustained Workforce Shortage

Monday, July 17, 2023


U.S. Travel Association Executive Vice President of Public Affairs and Policy Tori Emerson Barnes issued the following statement on the U.S. Department of Labor’s announcement that it received more H-2B visa applications for the year’s first-half allotment than total visas available:

“The overwhelming demand for H-2B worker visas—the earliest the first-half cap has ever been met—is further proof that this highly successful program should expand to meet workforce demand. With nearly 10 million job openings across the U.S. economy, and 1.4 million in the leisure and hospitality sector alone, there are simply not enough American workers to meet hiring needs.

“The federal government can address these critical workforce shortages—and spur the U.S. economy—by increasing the cap on H-2B temporary worker visas.”

BACKGROUND: Every year, half of the 66,000 available H-2B visas are released on April 1 and October 1. Demand for workers for the second half of the year, which includes the busy summer months, routinely exceeds the allotment; this has not been the case, until now, for the first half of the year.

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