temporary visas

Temporary Visa Crackdown Threatens U.S. Resorts

By Peek & Toland on September 13, 2017

The Trump administration promised a crackdown on a wide range of visas including temporary visas for overseas workers. However, many hotels and other tourist facilities have been left facing an acute shortage of workers due to the temporary visa crackdown.

Those impacted include hotel owners, restaurateurs, and landscapers around the United States.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported these businesses are struggling to find seasonal help and being forced to turn down business in some cases because the government has clamped down on visas for temporary foreign workers. Critics say lowly paid jobs that attract foreign workers undercut local wages.

Temporary visa crackdown hits hotels

Hotels may be hit in temporary visa crackdown

The visas in question are H-2B temporary visas, a category for workers holding down seasonal, non-agricultural jobs. We outline these here on our website.

In May, The Chronicle reported the United States caps the number of H-2B visas at 66,000 each fiscal year.

Some of the workers in the hotel and leisure industry return year after year. Congress allowed them to do so in the past without being counted toward the limit. However, no exception was passed for 2017 at the end of 2016, after the presidential election. A temporary visa crackdown might prove serious.

Lawmakers outlined a spending bill that would allow the homeland security secretary to boost the number of H-2B visas in the present fiscal year to almost 130,000.

But even if the measure passes, it will take weeks for the visas to be processed. Many of the visas would not arrive in time for Memorial Day and perhaps even not until after the Fourth of July, the report stated.

Foreign workers are in demand for jobs in the hospitality industry like housekeepers, cooks, and dishwashers because the positions are often low wage and Americans are not willing to do them.

President Trump has hired seasonal workers at his Mar-a-Lago resort by using the H-2B visa program.

Each visa costs at least $1,000 in government fees, travel, and other expenses. The employer foots this bill.

We outline the types of visa used in the hospitality industry here. The tourism industry also makes use of J-1 visas for students and L visas for managers.

Some areas have been hard hit by the shortage of temporary workers.

The San Francisco Chronicle quoted Sarah Mace Diment, the manager of the Beachmre Inn Ogunquit, Maine. She was forced to reduce the number of rooms available during spring vacation week in April. She cited a shortage of eight housekeepers, who are paid $10 to $12.50 an hour. None of her H-2B visa requests were granted, she said.

If you are seeking to hire foreign workers on H-2B visas, there are certain rules to follow. For example, employers must advertise for U.S. workers first. An Austin immigration lawyer can help you. Please call Peek & Toland at <a href=\”5124744445\”>(512) 474-4445</a>.

Posted in Immigration, Visas

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More than 500,000 Immigrants Are Involved in Visa Overstays

By Peek & Toland on January 11, 2017

There has been a lot of publicity about illegal immigration in recent years. However, a report looked at visa overstays and found thousands of people who entered the country legally are staying too long.

The visa overstays issue was tackled in a recent Fox News report. It said it took the U.S. government two decades to update its figure on visa overstays.

visa overstays are highlighted

The Homeland Security Department reported on how 527,127 people who were meant to leave the country in 2015 overstayed. The statistics only took into account people who entered the United States by plane or ship, not overland.

The Fox report said during the same time US Border Patrol arrested 337,117 people who were illegally crossing into the United States, almost all of them across the Mexican border.

Unlike undocumented immigrants, people who overstay their visas seldom get caught. Immigration agents launched investigations into just 10,000 of these cases.

The Fox report said as many as 40 percent of people in the United States on visas, illegally overstayed their departure date. It’s a percentage that may increase as India and China replace Mexico as the main countries of origin of immigrants.

The Department of Homeland Security stated Canada is the leading nation for visa overstays followed by Mexico, Germany, Italy and Brazil.

A variety of different temporary visas can be used to stay in the United States. For instance, a B-2 visa may be used for tourism, medical treatment or to attend a special event.

Some members of Congress were reported to be stunned by the scale of the visa overstay issue.

Rep. Lamar Smith, a Republican from Texas, accused the Obama administration of losing sight of the problem. He said 12,500 overstays were deported in 2009, but just 6,800 in 2012 and the figure fell to 2,500 in 2015 — fewer than one out of every 2,000.

If you are found to be overstaying your visa, it can have serious consequences. Visa overstays may be barred from returning to the United States for as long as 10 years or face other consequences.

For all of your questions about visas and some of the inherent issues, call our Austin immigration attorneys at (512) 474-4445.

Posted in Visas

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