More H-2B visas released, could help businesses in Maryland

MARYLAND– An additional 35,000 temporary H-2B visas are being given out. The Department of Homeland Security and Department of Labor recently made the announcement.

The additional visas were made possible by an amendment to the Fiscal Year 22 DHS Appropriations Bill that was signed in March. The supplemental H-2B visa allocation consists of 23,500 visas available to returning workers. The remaining 11,500 visas are reserved for El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Haiti, regardless if they are returning workers.

The Executive Director of the Ocean City Hotel Motel Restaurant Association, Susan Jones, said H-2B visas became more popular when the resort town had trouble getting J1 summer work travel visas because of the pandemic. She also said Ocean City has relied more on H-2B visa workers to fill empty positions.

“So, really in our area we have to look at all means of temporary labor because in the season there are approximately 12,000 seasonal jobs,” Jones said. “So, that number may have gone down a bit with COVID because people have adjusted their operations, but regardless we don’t have enough physical people in our area to fill all of the open positions.”

Jones said back back in March businesses were told most workers should arrive April 1, but due to delays businesses may have to wait until the end of June or mid-July and that’s a cause for concern with summer right around the corner.

Categories: Local News, Maryland