Lexington, KY, May 17, 2022 – The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) commends the decision announced by the Departments of Homeland Security (DHS) and Labor (DOL) to make an additional 35,000 H-2B visas available for the second half of FY-2022.
“We thank DHS, DOL, and the Administration for recognizing the critical need for additional H-2B visas to fill positions not being filled by US workers,” said NTRA President & CEO Tom Rooney. “This announcement will help provide immediate relief for tracks and horse trainers going into the summer racing season. While the release of additional H-2B visas is good news for the industry, the NTRA will continue to advocate for more comprehensive immigration reform in the future.”
The supplemental H-2B visa allocation is for U.S. employers seeking to employ additional workers on or after April 1, 2022 through September 30, 2022. This announcement makes 23,500 visas available to returning workers who received an H-2B visa or were otherwise granted H-2B status during one of the last three fiscal years. The remaining 11,500 visas are reserved for nationals of El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Haiti, regardless of whether they are returning workers. The semiannual cap of 33,000 visas for the second half of FY 2022 was reached on February 25, 2022. Employers can begin petitioning on Wednesday, May 18. More information can be found here.
The H-2B visa guest worker program is a nonimmigrant visa program used by many industries that need temporary non-agricultural help when domestic workers are unavailable. For the horse racing industry, trainers rely heavily on the H-2B program to fill various backside positions.