Destinations

U.S. tourism businesses low on staff after changes to temporary work visa

Excerpt from Washington Post

Jun 14, 2013 9:42 am

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Regulatory changes to the H-2B visas ultimately increased fares for U.S. and foreign workers, but the timing left business owners with little time to secure summer workers and factor in fare raises for the 2013 season.

— Samantha Shankman

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Owners of tourism-related businesses say an administrative delay and a sudden rule change in Washington have disrupted their operations at the worst possible time of year.

Every summer, thousands of hotels, restaurants and other small tourism firms around the country apply for a special set of visas, known as H-2Bs, that allow them to temporarily hire foreign workers to supplement their workforce during the busiest months.

In March, however, the departments of Labor and Homeland Security suspended processing all H-2B visa applications because of concerns regarding wage requirements for the program.

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