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Congress Passes Federal Spending Bill with H-2b Provisions in Place

May 4, 2017

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Thursday, May 4, 2017) – Important H-2B visa program provisions remain in the bill that Congress passed today to fund federal government through fiscal year 2017. President Trump is expected to soon sign the bill.

One provision in the bill provides possible relief from the annual 66,000 cap of H-2B visas issued if the Secretary of Homeland Security determines there is economic necessity. This provision is expected to benefit the horse racing industry and many other industries that rely on the program to fill staffing needs.

The total number of H-2B visas available in fiscal year 2017 may increase to as high as 129,547 from 66,000 if language from the bill is fully applied. This higher number represents the number of new and returning workers admitted to the U.S. in fiscal year 2007, which is the fiscal year when the highest number of H-2B nonimmigrants participated in the H-2B returning worker program.

The NTRA, through its membership in the H-2B Workforce Coalition, looks forward to working with the Administration to enact the H-2B cap provision as soon as possible.