On July 19, 2017, the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the US Department of Labor (DOL) issued a temporary rule authorizing an increase of up to an additional 15,000 H-2B workers through the end of Fiscal Year 2017.
Because all non-agricultural seasonal employers in the nation have access to the limited 66,000 H-2B workers annually, the cap is reached very quickly and many seasonal employers are prevented from utilizing the program.
The additional 15,000 workers provides much-needed relief to seasonal employers that require temporary workers.
The H-2B Program was created to provide access to non-immigrant temporary workers for seasonal and peakload needs when no American worker can be found for available non-agricultural positions.
The program is critical for seasonal industries including landscaping, hospitality, amusement parks, rock quarries, restaurants, carnivals, and many others. Agricultural companies also use the program for non-agricultural duties as well (the H-2A program is used for agricultural jobs).
As noted in a DHS press release, the increase was made to prevent irreparable harm to American businesses.