President Joe Biden. Photo by White House staff.

Biden Administration to increase H-2B visas

To address the country’s ongoing labor shortage, the Biden Administration this announced it will allow an additional 20,000 foreign workers into the country under the H-2B visa program. 

The program permits employers to temporarily hire such workers for non-agricultural labor or services, including meatpacking. Employers requesting H-2B visas must attest to the U.S. Department of Labor that they will offer a wage that equals or exceeds the higher of the prevailing wage, applicable federal minimum wage, the state minimum wage or local minimum wage. Most of the visas will be available only to workers who received H-2B visas in the last three fiscal years, but 6,500 will go to laborers from El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti and Honduras. Farm groups continue to ask congressional lawmakers to expand the current H-2A visa program to year-round agricultural laborers, including meatpacking workers.

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