The US Homeland Security Department would be granted around 33,000 H-2B visas for this year 2016, which will be starting from 18th January. And around 83 nations are eligible to participate in the seasonal worker program of the US government.
Presently, the US Congress had set the limit of H-2B at 66,000 per financial year, with around 33,000 for the workers who starts doing job in the first half of the financial year ie from 1st October -31st March and 33,000 for the workers who start doing job in second half of the financial year ie from 1st April -30th September.
Any visas that are not used for first half of financial year would be made available for the employers who look to recruit H-2B workers during second half of the financial year. However, the H-2B visas that are not used from a financial year does not carry forward to the next.
Till the 14th of December, 2015, the DHS has witnessed around 14,235 total beneficiaries whose were either approved or pending.
Supporters of this visa say that it would assist US businesses to employ more individuals for doing this temporary job that is important for the firms for meeting the consumer demand during the peak seasons, in summer at beach resort or in spring at the gardening firm. This seasonal job could last for ten months at one time.
The provision for the seasonal worker, that are sought by groups of coalition industry that includes restaurants, hotels, beach and ski resorts, seafood processors and construction firms, permits the US firms to recruit over 66,000 employees each year that has been allowed to get visas in the previous. The H-2B program does not include the farm workers.
The Homeland Security and the Labour Department had predicted that modifications in a way the seasonal workers are being calculated will double the overseas workers visiting the US, under the H-2B program. Returning employees who got a visa in any of three years would not be counted against yearly cap of 66,000.
The workforce coalition of H-2B, which is an alliance of over 40 industry groups that lobbied for the law told that the program do not permit the employers to exploit the overseas labour.
According to the statement made by the coalition, the recruiting of H-2B workers is not low-priced alternative. The employers are needed to pay the overseas workers and similarly the employed US workers a wage which is more than the federal least wage. The fact is that more workers choose to return to same employer every year describes the important opportunities that the H-2B employers enjoy.