Last updated on 6 March 2020
The Trump administration said Thursday that it would allow an additional 35,000 temporary foreign workers to come to the U.S. to fill nonfarm seasonal jobs amid a tight labor market.
The additional visas, on top of the 66,000 allowed in each year under U.S. law, is the highest annual total allowed under President Donald Trump.
A total of 10,000 of the additional H-2B visas will be set aside for the first time for people from Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras because those countries agreed to work with the administration to take in people seeking asylum in the United States along its southern border, according to the Department of Homeland Security.
Seasonal workers with H-2B visas are permitted to work in the U.S. for less than a year. They work in such areas as landscaping, construction, hotel and restaurant work, and seafood- and meat-processing plants.
Many American businesses and politicians of both parties have called for an increase, especially amid the tight labor market.
The administration says it will take “significant steps“ to address fraud and abuse in the H-2B program and will generally limit the visas to returning workers.