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SAM Magazine—Lakewood, Colo., April 21, 2022—The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released 35,000 additional H-2B visas for employers with start dates between April 1 and Sept. 30, according to the latest Capitol Watch from the National Ski Areas Association (NSAA).NSAAhn The release more than doubles the 33,000 H-2B visas authorized by statute.

“[T]his good news is tempered by the fact that this will benefit summer employers for now,” said NSAA director of risk and regulatory affairs Dave Byrd. “One-third of these additional visas are allocated to countries in Central America to help mitigate against illegal immigration from those countries into the U.S.”

Byrd noted that additional H-2Bs will also be needed for this winter season, especially after the cap on H-2B visa allocation for the Oct. 1 period was reached for the first time ever in 2021 before the traditional ski area hiring timelines of November and December, which deprived ski areas of access to the program. With the tight labor market expected to continue into the foreseeable future, demand for H-2B visas will also continue to be high.

“[A] sustained lobbying effort by ski areas will still be needed to obtain additional visas for the October 1 period as the labor shortage is unlikely to be solved by then,” said Byrd. “NSAA will thank key members of Congress for their support of these additional visas, but will also start the lobbying process asking for more visas in the fall.”

NSAA will be hosting an “H-2B Visa Strategy” webinar in partnership with Pabian Law on May 19. More details for it are coming in NSAA newsletters and emails.