H2B Cap Reached for First Half of FY202303 Oct 2022
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced that it has received sufficient filings to reach the congressionally mandated H2B cap for the first half of fiscal year (FY) 2023. Any cap-subject H2B petitions received by the USCIS after September 12, 2022 requesting a start date before April 1, 2023 will be rejected.
Background on H2B Program
The H2B visa category is designed to help U.S. employer in an industry with peak load, seasonal, or intermittent needs to augment its existing labor force with temporary workers. In addition, a U.S. employer may use the H2B if there is a one-time occurrence that necessitates a temporary increase in workers. The H2B visa category is used by a number of different industries, but is especially prevalent in the construction and food services industries.
USCIS Still Accepting H2B Petitions Exempt from Cap
USCIS continues to accept H2B petitions that are exempt from the congressionally mandated cap. This includes petitions for the following:
- Current H2B workers in the United States applying for an extension of status, change of employer, or change in the terms and conditions of employment
- Fish roe processors, fish roe technicians, and/or supervisors of fish roe processing
- Workers performing labor or services in the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands and/or Guam from 28.Nov.2009 until 31.Dec.2029
The H2B category is a useful option for certain seasonal or temporary workers in occupational areas such as construction, healthcare, landscaping, lumber, manufacturing, food service / processing, and resort / hospitality services. However, timing is key due to the annual cap. In order to engage in the necessary advance planning, preparation, and filings, it is important to consult with a qualified immigration attorney well in advance.
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