President Trump issued the “Proclamation Suspending Entry of Aliens Who Present a Risk to the U.S, Labor Market Following the Coronavirus Outbreak.” Referencing the millions of Americans who remain out of work due to COVID-19-related economic disruptions, President Trump suspended the issuance of H-2B visas, as well as other visa categories, until December 31, 2020.
There are exemptions from the ban for companies engaged in the food supply chain, such as seafood processors. There is more information coming regarding new procedures to claim that exemption.
We expect the ban will not be extended into 2021, but we will have to wait until after the election to gauge the lay of the land. Of course, if the unemployment rates in the US decline, the administration may lift the visa ban prior to the end of the year.
Make sure you are up to date on your obligations under COVID also. There are federal regulations attached to the CARES ACT but also, your governor or local leaders may have promulgated additional employer expectations. If you have questions about your obligations, it is best to reach out to an attorney well versed in your state’s COVID response.