H-2B visa cap reached

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) has received a sufficient number of petitions to reach the congressionally mandated H-2B cap for the first half of the 2016 Fiscal Year (FY) 2016.

The 15th March 15 was the final receipt date for new H-2B worker petitions requesting an employment start date before 1st April 1. USCIS will reject most new H-2B petitions that were received after this date, although the following petitions are exempt from the congressionally mandated cap:

– Workers identified as ‘returning workers’ who were previously counted against the annual H-2B cap during FYs 2013, 2014, or 2015;

– Current H-2B workers in the US petitioning to extend their stay and, if applicable, change the terms of their employment or change their employers;

– Fish roe processors, fish roe technicians and/or supervisors of fish roe processing; and

– Workers performing labour or services from November 28, 2009, until December 31, 2019, in the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands and/or Guam.

The H-2B is a non-agricultural temporary worker program which allows US employers to bring foreign nationals to the United States to fill temporary non-agricultural jobs.

The H-2B cap is currently set at 66,000 per fiscal year, with 33,000 for workers who begin employment in the first half of the fiscal year (1st October to 31st March) and 33,000 for workers who begin employment in the second half of the fiscal year (1st April – 30th September).

Article by David Fuller