USA to offer 15000 extra temporary worker visas this year

Frederick Owens
July 17, 2017

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said this is aimed mainly at better tracking visa overstays and also at tightening security. The extra visas will be available to companies that can show that their businesses would be harmed if they can't temporarily hire foreigner workers.

In order to help USA businesses at risk of suffering "irreparable harm", the Department of Homeland Security said Monday it will provide as many as 15,000 new H-2B visas this year for temporary seasonal workers.

Congress in May struck a bipartisan deal to potentially make available an additional 70,000 visas available.

The Trump Organization is among the businesses that use the visas.

The increase is only for workers who will start their temporary employment before September 30 and businesses submitting petitions will be considered in the order they apply.

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DHS said the government has created a new tip line to report any abuse of the visas or employer violations.

Current law limits the H-2B program to 66,000 visas a year, split evenly between fall and spring application periods. These workers, who perform low-skilled jobs like landscaping or fish processing, can work for 10 months before they have to return to their home countries.

Still, senior DHS officials insisted the policy fits Trumps self-styled "America First" agenda because it will help American businesses.

DHS press secretary David Lapan told reporters, "we're talking about American businesses that are at risk of suffering irreparable harm", according to The Washington Times.

"This is yet another example of the administration and Congress failing to keep the Trump campaign promise of putting American workers first", he said.

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