The Department of Homeland Security is considering providing additional visas for the H-2B seasonal guest worker program for the second half of fiscal year 2021 (April 1-Sept. 30).
In December 2020, Congress passed legislation that provided DHS with the authority to issue additional visas above the statutory cap of 33,000 for the second half of the fiscal year. NRCA is aware of the strong demand within the roofing industry for additional H-2B visas to meet seasonal workforce needs in 2021, and NRCA CEO Reid Ribble sent a letter to Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas, urging him to expeditiously provide more visas to meet workforce needs.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, which administers the program, held a “listening session” April 8 to receive input from the public, and participants overwhelmingly spoke in favor of providing additional visas. Individuals or companies who could not participate in the listening session are encouraged to email their views to USCIS at [email protected].
It is important to urge DHS to immediately release all additional H-2B visas authorized by law. Emails should:
- Include your name, title and company;
- Urge DHS to immediately provide about 65,000 additional H-2B visas authorized under the law to businesses that need workers between April 1 and Sept. 30;
- Stress the difficulty in filling seasonal jobs and the consequences to your business, U.S. workers and community if you do not have H-2B workers
Be sure to make the email personal and be as detailed as possible, and it is crucial to emphasize the immediate release of all additional H-2B visas authorized under the law. Emails should be sent as soon as possible because DHS is actively considering the issue and could make a decision soon.