LEXINGTON, Ky (May 30, 2019) – Industry members who utilize the H-2B temporary worker visa program should contact their U.S. Representative by Friday, May 31, and ask him or her to sign a letter being circulated to House Appropriations Committee leaders in advance of the Committee’s mid-June action on the Fiscal Year 2020 Department of Homeland Security Appropriations bill. The letter urges Committee leaders to include some form of meaningful H-2B cap relief during markup of the bill.
To reach your Representative, call the Capitol switchboard at 202-225-3121 and ask to speak to the staff member who handles H-2B visa questions. Alternatively, you may choose to send an email to your lawmaker by using this link: https://p2a.co/l5fTSY7.
The H-2B nonimmigrant visa program allows U.S. employers who meet specific statutory and regulatory requirements to bring foreign nationals to the United States to fill temporary, non-agricultural jobs. Within the horse racing industry, racehorse trainers rely heavily on the program to fill many backside positions.
There is a statutory cap of 66,000 H-2B visas per fiscal year, with a maximum of 33,000 available during the first half of any given fiscal year and another 33,000 for workers who begin employment during the second half of the fiscal year. Demand for H-2B visas outpaces supply and employers quickly reach the cap levels each fiscal year.
The Department of Homeland Security earlier this month provided some relief for H-2B employers when it released 30,000 additional H-2B visas restricted to returning workers for Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 ending on September 30, but this was too little, too late for many horse trainers.