Tourism profits from issuance of additional work visas

 Friday, April 12, 2019 


Businesses related to the tourism sector and others that make use of large numbers of seasonal non-agricultural workers are praising the decision of the Department of Homeland Security to issue up to 30,000 extra H-2B work visas through Sept. 30 in addition to a beforehand declared number of 33,000.


The supplemental visas will be available only to the applicants who have held H-2B status at a minimum one of the past three fiscal years.


In the past, Congress has capped the total number of annual H-2B visas, which offered legal work status for the immigrants holding temporary jobs, at 66,000, divided consistently between summer and winter seasons, The New York Times reported.


Businesses vie for the permits and are necessary to show that no worker of American origin want the jobs.


Around 75 percent of H-2B visas were given to Mexico workers in the last fiscal year according to State Department data.


On Jan. 1st, when the first round of 33,000 permits was released, employers applied for several visas within the first day to keep away from being shut out by their competitors the online application portal of the government slowed down then froze, per The Wall Street Journal.


Hotels, amusement parks and landscaping companies and restaurants rely heavily on seasonal help from other countries.


U. S. Representative Bill Keating (D-Mass.) informed the Martha’s Vineyard Gazette that Cape Cod is one of the chief beneficiaries of the visa program, as workers are required to serve seasonal visitors who swell the local population by as much as five times.


“This is a big deal for the Island because it depends so much on tourism,” Keating said.


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