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Labor Department Considers Lottery for Seasonal Worker Visas

Jan. 14, 2019, 3:59 PM

Employers that rely on H-2B seasonal guestworker visas could be faced with a double lottery as the Labor Department considers new ways to handle the massive influx of applications.

The DOL’s electronic application system, iCERT, crashed Jan. 1 when employers clambered to file their applications for the spring season on the first day they were allowed to apply. Employers that day sought certification from the agency for 97,800 H-2B workers even though only 33,000 visas are available.

The system went back online the afternoon of Jan. 7.

H-2B visas are popular in industries such as landscaping, resorts, amusement, and seafood ...