H-2B program suspension extended by White House Email
Written by John McMahon   
Monday, January 04, 2021 12:00 AM

H-2B updat

H-2B program suspension is extended by White House proclamation

As you may have heard, the H-2B guest worker program has been suspended by a White House proclamation. The proclamation extended Trump's original order, which was set to expire December 31, 2020, until March 31, 2021. You can read a good summary of this action here. The H-2B Workforce Coalition will be working with the Biden administration to rescind this order.

In the meantime, I have shared below a valuable summary from ALCC member Pabian Law on what this means for the landscape industry.

Warm Regards,


John McMahon | Chief Executive Officer
Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado

From Keith Pabian and Pabian Law: 

On New Year’s Eve, President Trump issued a new Presidential Proclamation, extending the Proclamation that originally suspended new H, L, and J visas through December 31, 2020.  The Proclamation is now extended through March 31, 2021.  This was very unexpected news, as there had been no prior indication that the Proclamation would be extended into the new year. 

What this means is that, at the current time, H-2B employers that are still seeking to bring out-of-country H-2B workers to the U.S. for the winter season will continue to require an exception to the Proclamation in order for workers to be granted an H-2B visa and be admitted to the U.S. 

More information about the exceptions to the Proclamation is outlined below in our Client Alerts from October 7th and August 14th.  A very brief summary of the Proclamation exceptions are as follows:

  1. An exception for members of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce (even newly-joined members);
  2. An exception for returning H-2B workers (i.e., employees that have worked for the employer as an H-2B in at least two (2) previous seasons); and
  3. An exception for financial hardship.

Important things to note about the Proclamation extension:

  • This does not impact summer-season H-2B employers.
  • Substantial lobbying is underway from industry groups imploring President-Elect Biden to terminate this Proclamation on day one of his Presidency.  Biden has not made any announcement about this, but he has indicated a strong resolve to terminate other Trump Administration immigration restrictions on the first day of his term.  Therefore, there is optimism that this will end soon.