USCIS Reaches Fiscal Year 2015 H-2B Cap

 
Wednesday, February 4, 2015
 

USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) has received a sufficient number of petitions to reach the congressionally mandated limit, or “cap” on the total number of foreign nationals who may seek a visa or otherwise obtain H-2B status for the first half of fiscal year (FY) 2015.  The H-2B status applies to the non-agricultural temporary worker program that allows U.S. employers to bring foreign nationals to the United States to fill temporary non-agricultural jobs.  Jan. 26, 2015 was the final receipt date for new H-2B worker petitions requesting an employment start date prior to April 1, 2015.

Currently, the H-2B cap set by Congress is 66,000 per fiscal year, with 33,000 to be allocated for employment beginning in the 1st half of the fiscal year (October 1 - March 31) and 33,000 to be allocated for employment beginning in the 2nd half of the fiscal year (April 1 - September 30). Any unused numbers from the first half of the fiscal year will be made available for use by employers seeking to hire H-2B workers during the second half of the fiscal year.  There is no "carry over" of unused H-2B numbers from one fiscal year to the next.

What Happens Now

  • USCIS will reject new cap-subject H-2B petitions that were received after January 26, 2015, and that request an employment start date prior to April 1, 2015.
  • No cap numbers from the first half of FY 2015 will be available in the second half of FY 2015, which begins April 1, 2015.

USCIS will continue to accept H-2B petitions that are exempt from the congressionally mandated cap.

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