Congressman Andy Harris (R-MD) recently introduced H.R. 4238 to amend the Immigration and Nationality Act that provides requirements for employers of H-2B nonimmigrant workers and is the basic body of immigration law.

Rep. Harris’ bill includes, among its provisions, an amendment that covers returning workers and how they impact the annual cap on the number of H-2B visas available to employers. Specifically, H.R. 4238 reinstates the returning worker exemption so that those workers who complied with the terms of previous H-2B visas can return to the U.S. and not count against the cap of 66,000 visas. Of that number, 33,000 are made available for the first half of the fiscal year and 33,000 for the second half. The first half cap already has been reached.

The legislation also clarifies the methodology used to determine the prevailing wage rate that H-2B employers must pay and ensures that workers receive compensation that is both fair and reflective of current market conditions.

The H-2B visa program is used by many industries, including horse racing, to access temporary seasonal workers when domestic help is unavailable. Horse trainers typically use the program to hire grooms and other barn help.