USCIS Reaches H-2B Cap for Second Half of FY 2023 and Announces Filing Dates for the Second Half of FY 2023 Supplemental Visas
March 6th, 2023
USCIS has reached the H-2B visa cap for the second half of the FY 2023, and as a result, will not accept any new petitions for the remainder of the FY 2023. The number of petitions exceeded the available visa cap and therefore, a computer-generated selection process was implemented to ensure “the fair and orderly allocation of H-2B visa cap numbers.” On March 1, 2023 petitions submitted before the deadline were drawn at random and those selected were assigned “a receipt date and began premium processing services.”
H-2B petitions that are exempt from the congressionally mandated cap are still being accepted. “This includes petitions for:
- Current H-2B workers in the United States who wish 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 labor or services in the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands and/or Guam (until Dec. 31, 2029).”
As per the temporary final rule issued by the DHS and DOL on December 15, 2022, supplemental H-2B visas are “available only to U.S. business that are suffering irreparable harm or will suffer impending irreparable harm without the ability to employ all the H-2B workers requested in their petition. Below are the filing start dates for each of the remaining supplemental visa allocations under the temporary final rule:
- For employers seeking nationals of El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Haiti: USCIS will begin accepting petitions for employers requesting an employment start date from Apr. 1, 2023, to Sept. 30, 2023, on March 14, 2023. USCIS began accepting petitions from employers with employment start dates from Oct. 1, 2022, to Mar. 31, 2023, in December 2022. A cap count for this Northern Central American/Haiti allocation is available on the Temporary Increase in H-2B Nonimmigrant Visas for FY 2023
- For employers seeking workers for the early second half of FY 2023 (Apr. 1 to May 14): USCIS will begin accepting petitions for the additional 16,500 visas made available to returning workers regardless of country of nationality on March 14, 2023.
- For employers seeking workers for the late second half of FY 2023 (May 15 to Sept. 30): USCIS will begin accepting petitions for the additional 10,000 visas made available to returning workers regardless of country of nationality on April 13, 2023.”
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Categories: Immigration Blog