H-2B Program Hits Record High Demand Due to National Labor Shortage- NALP Pushing for Congressional Fix and More Supplemental H-2B Visas for the Administration
This week, the Department of Labor announced that it received 7,875 H-2B applications requesting 136,555 worker positions for the April 1st second half cap start date. This is a record and is a 41% increase over last year, reflecting the crisis level labor situation faced by seasonal employers. This is 136,555 for ONLY 33,000 visas, less than a 25% chance for seasonal businesses to access much needed guest workers.
Seasonal employers began receiving their lottery assignments A through G earlier this week. For historical context almost all those assigned to A will be able to get their guest workers (unless there is an issue with the application) and most of those in B will be able to get their guest workers. Unfortunately, those in C or later will likely not be able get their guest workers. Regardless of your assignment you should still continue through the process with the Department of Labor to get your labor cert because it will be needed to access any supplemental cap.
NALP is remaining in regular communication with the Department of Homeland Security and continues to hear positive news about a supplemental release for the second half cap. We also believe that it will come much earlier than in the previous years, meaning workers will be able to be here in April rather than June or July. As for a number on the second half cap, we do not know yet but this drastic increase in demand will hopefully bolster our position to ask for the maximum number allowable under the provisions we inserted into FY 21 appropriations which would be another 43,000.