Biden administration releases 22,000 additional H-2B visas

Virginia News

WASHINGTON, DC – FEBRUARY 15: The U.S. Capitol building is seen past American flags at the base of the Washington Monument on President’s Day, February 15, 2021 in Washington, DC. President’s Day was first observed in 1796 in recognition of George Washingtons birthday, the first President of the United States, which is February 22nd but it was eventually proposed to honor both Washington and President Abraham Lincoln, who was born on February 12th, into one federally recognized holiday on the first Monday in February in 1971. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (WAVY) – U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine applauded after the Biden administration announced that it will release an additional 22,000 H-2B temporary non-agricultural worker visas.

Officials say the move will benefit the seafood processing industries in Virginia and Maryland.

In a joint statement, the senators commended the decision:

“As the harvest season begins on the Northern Neck and the Eastern Shore, we are pleased that seafood processors will be able to hire additional seasonal workers to keep their operations up and running. These businesses – most of them small and family-owned – are essential to the coastal economies in Virginia and Maryland, and so we appreciate that the administration listened to our requests and released these additional visas, ensuring that they will have the workforce they need as the processing season kicks up.”  

The H-2B Temporary Non-Agricultural Visa Program allows U.S. employers to hire seasonal, non-immigrant workers during peak seasons to supplement the existing American workforce.

In order to be eligible for the program, employers are required to declare that there are not enough U.S. workers available to do the temporary work which relies on H-2B workers for tough jobs such as shucking oysters and processing crabs. 

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