On March 23, Congress passed funding legislation allowing the Secretary of Homeland Security to raise the H-2B visa cap based on economic need after consulting with the Secretary of Labor.

The secretary has the authority to issue the same number of H-2B visas that were issued in 2017, which will help address the hospitality industry’s labor shortage.

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The H-2B non-agricultural temporary worker program allows U.S. employers to bring foreign nationals to the U.S. to fill temporary non-agricultural jobs. There is a limit on the number of foreign nationals who may be issued an H-2B visa or granted H-2B status during a fiscal year. Congress has currently set the H-2B cap at 66,000 per fiscal year.

The National Restaurant Association said it is pleased lawmakers included one of our industry’s top priorities in the funding legislation, and will continue working with the administration and Congress to permanently resolve this issue.