H-2B Cap for FY2009 Reached

On January 8, 2009, US Citizenship & Immigration Services (CIS) announced that the H-2B cap of 66,000 visas for FY2009 had been reached. H-2B visas allow employers who have a need for peak-load, seasonal, or intermittent workers to temporarily increase their workforce through a visa sponsorship process. H-2B visas are also available for employers who need a temporary increase in employees due to a one-time occurrence that requires a short-term increase in workers. Some of the major industries that use H-2B visas include construction, landscaping, hospitality, food service, and manufacturing.

To participate in the H-2B program, employers must first obtain a temporary labor certification from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) through a recruitment process that is intended to demonstrate the unavailability of U.S. workers for these positions. Applications are normally accepted by DOL 120 days before the employer has a need for the workers' services. Under the Save Our Small and Seasonal Businesses Act (SOS Act), 33,000 H-2B visas are available for the first half of each fiscal year and the other 33,000 visas are reserved for the remainder of the fiscal year. Petitions may be filed with US CIS six months in advance of the employer's need for a temporary worker, but only after the employer has received a temporary labor certification from the DOL.

Categories: Immigration Blog