For employers in California, the availability of H-2B visas has a big impact on the potential hiring pool. The number of them that the government offers varies from year to year, and for the specific categories that use this kind of visa, it is a core part of their labor market and source of employees.
The H-2B visa is a special type of temporary worker visa. It is for seasonal work and not agricultural work, so it is mostly for hospitality jobs, work related to tourism, and similar employment. They provide an essential source of labor for employers in those industries. Each year, the government makes a certain number of these visas available, and the employers need to follow a special process to get them.
First, they must prove that they can’t hire any Americans for the job, and then they have to apply to get a visa. Then the prospective employee needs to apply for the visa themselves from their home country. The H-2B will be granted once all three steps have been successfully passed. This year, the government plans to allow an extra 35,000 H-2Bs in addition to the usual 33,000 per year that it normally allocates, providing a massive boost to the number of workers who can enter the country on these visas.
The H-2B visa process is an attractive way to bring in workers that meet the criteria described in the regulations. With the increase in the number of visas available for this year, the government is allowing for a lot more workers to support the relevant industries and types of work.