On April 20, 2021, the H-2B Workforce Coalition released a statement regarding the release of the extra 22,000 additional visas for the H-2B Temporary Non-Agricultural Worker program. Read the statement here
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced April 20, 2021, that it will release 22,000 additional visas for the H-2B Temporary Non-Agricultural Worker program. This follows extensive lobbying by the GCSAA to help fill positions at golf facilities that are going vacant during the COVID-19 pandemic. Rounds are up, and superintendents have stressed that they needed more workers weeks ago.
After Congress authorized up to 64,716 additional visas for this year, GCSAA went into action with a combination of direct lobbying in Washington and grassroots lobbying by members, all to make sure golf’s voice is being heard. Most recently, the government affairs staff and members from across the country participated in a listening session held by DHS to hear the public’s thoughts. GCSAA joined other seasonal industries that rely on H-2B, including hotels, carnivals and amusement parks and construction. GCSAA's voices made a difference: The additional visas will be made available via a rule to be published in the Federal Register. While more details are still to come, 6,000 of the visas will be set aside for workers from the Northern Triangle countries of Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala.
There is a strong need for labor at golf facilities, and 22,000 additional workers only scratches the surface. So, GCSAA will continue to lobby for measures to make additional workers available, including exempting from the annual cap those well-vetted, temporary workers who have come to the U.S. within the past three years. GCSAA will be asking Congress for this relief as part of 2021 National Golf Day, on Wednesday, May 12. If you are not yet signed up for this virtual event, please do so at www.wearegolf.org.