An additional 30,000 seasonal employee visas are being made available for 2019, by the Trump administration. These will be offered over and above the number of visas already made available this year. These H-2B visas will be granted only to workers who have already received the visas in the previous three years. This is because, these are workers who have already been scrutinised and have earned their trust. Most of these visa holders are known to come back to the same employers every year.
With these work visas, employers will now be able to hire foreign workers for a short term, for non-agricultural jobs. Also, these visas will be made available only to companies who will “undergo irreparable damage” in the absence of additional employees.
Employers in the US have been struggling to find labour for some time now. The task became more challenging with the seasonal visa limit being 66,000 per year. Most businesses feel this is far from sufficient especially at a time when the unemployment rate is the lowest in four decades.
Employers in the US have always maintained that they require additional labour, going against the many who believe that such visas lead to Americans losing out on job opportunities. Trump himself is said to have hired seasonal workers and immigrants at his golf clubs. It is reported that his resort had sought about 60 visas for servers and cooks.
As per data obtained from the US Citizenship and Immigration Services, last year, 50 per cent of the visas were made available to horticultural and agricultural workers. The remaining were offered to those engaged in food service, forestry and logging work as well as fishermen and hunters/trappers.