Washington, Oct 14 (IANS) The US has received enough petitions to reach the Congressionally-mandated cap on H-2B visas for temporary non-agricultural workers for the first half of fiscal year 2024.
The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) said that October 11 was the final receipt date for new cap-subject H-2B worker petitions requesting an employment start date before April 1, 2024.
The new cap-subject H-2B petitions, received after October 11, 2023 that request an employment start date before April 1, 2024, will be rejected.
The immigration agency said it will continue to accept H-2B petitions that are exempt from the congressionally mandated cap, which includes current H-2B workers in the US who extend their stay, change employers, or change the terms and conditions of their employment.
It also includes, 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 from November 28, 2009, until December 31, 2029.
The H-2B visas are issued for seasonal/temporary jobs which allow employers to hire skilled or unskilled workers to fulfil the shortage of workers in the US.
Currently, the H-2B cap has been set at 66,000 per fiscal year, with 33,000 for workers who begin employment in the first half of the fiscal year (October 1 – March 31) and 33,000 (plus any unused numbers from the first half of the fiscal year) for workers who begin employment in the second half of the fiscal year (April 1 – September 30).
Any unused numbers from the first half of the fiscal year is available for employers seeking to hire H-2B workers during the second half of the fiscal year. The unused H-2B numbers from one fiscal year do not carry over into the next fiscal year.