Rounds Report: Administration to Increase H-2B Workers by 30,000 for Fiscal Year 2019

March 29, 2019

Today, the administration announced it would increase the number of H-2B workers for Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 by 30,000. I recently led a letter, signed by 138 members of Congress, urging the administration to immediately increase the cap.

Application details and eligibility requirements will be available in the final temporary rule at in the near future. In an effort to streamline the process, the allocation will only be available to applicants who have held H-2B status in at least one of the past three fiscal years (2016, 2017 and 2018).

The H-2B visa program is an essential tool for South Dakota businesses seeking to fill open seasonal jobs, especially in the tourism and construction industries. While we hope today’s announcement will help, the lack of adequate help has already had an adverse impact on these small business owners’ livelihoods, as well as the entire economy of our state.

It is clear that we need a permanent solution that raises the cap of H-2B visas available to employers each year based on need rather than an arbitrary number. I am committed to working with my colleagues in Congress, as well as the administration, to find a permanent solution to this issue so our local businesses can thrive.

Mike Rounds
United States Senator for South Dakota