Introduced in 1986, the H-2B Visa program is a temporary work permit program for foreign workers in seasonal, non-agricultural work in the U.S. It is open to nationals of countries designated by the U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security, and is capped at 66,000 visas per year (Oct. 1 through Sept. 30). The duration of the visa is limited to the employer's need for temporary workers; the maximum authorized period is one year.
However, the employer may extend up to three years, but with a very close watch from the immigration authorities. The employer must also prove that there are no unemployed U.S. workers willing or able to do the work; the state's employment agency uses a labor certification process to determine this, and advertises to find available temporary U.S. workers.
Why is the H-2B visa issue critical to golf course operations?
Many golf courses rely on seasonal workers and many are obtained through the H-2B Visa program. The process of finding and hiring them is cumbersome and time-consuming.
What is the NGCOA doing about this issue?
NGCOA closely follows and frequently shares regulatory updates related to H-2B visas, and helps members ensure operational requirements are met. As part of the national H-2B Workforce Coalition, we continue to promote legislation that supports the appropriate funding and Visa execution to meet the needs of our owners and operators. Educational resources are available to assist operators who wish to participate in the program.
How you can keep track of the H-2B visa issue:
The NGCOA encourages owners and operators to continue working closely with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) program coordinators and comply with recruiting requirements. Learn more about this issue and discuss it with your peers.