San Diego Immigration Attorney - Quoted in Hotel News Now About Law Changes Make H-2B Visa Program More Challenging for Hotels

Jacob Sapochnick was interviewed in a two-part series about staffing challenges facing the U.S. hotel industry.

The H-2B visa program was never a cure-all for the hospitality industry's staffing woes, but recent changes have made it practically unusable for a large section of the industry. Additional modifications some members of Congress are pushing for could increase the program's cost and complexity even more.

One of the most immediate problems with the H-2B visa program is the small number of visas granted. The government grants a total of 66,000 per year, 33,000 from 1 October through 31 March and another 33,000 from 1 April through 30 September.

"The biggest problem with H-2B is the save our small business act that passed in 2006 that allowed returning workers to be exempted from the cap the second year," said Jacob Sapochnick, a San Diego, California-based lawyer whose practice is devoted to immigration law. "The legislation stopped in September 2007, and Congress hasn't renewed it. Now, returning workers and new workers are competing for the same 33,000 visas. They're very, very difficult to get."

  • Part 1: Changes make H-2B visa program more challenging for hotels
  • Part 2: Unemployment rate not helping hotels fill positions
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