U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently announced that it has reached the congressionally mandated H-2B cap for the first half of fiscal year 2018.
December 15, 2017, was the final receipt date for new H-2B worker petitions requesting an employment start date before April 1, 2018. USCIS will reject new cap-subject H-2B petitions received after December 15 that request an employment start date before April 1, 2018.
USCIS continues to accept H-2B petitions that are exempt from the congressionally mandated cap. This includes the following types of petitions:
- Current H-2B workers in the United States petitioning 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 the Northern Mariana Islands and/or Guam from November 28, 2009, until December 31, 2019.
USCIS is currently accepting cap-subject petitions for the second half of FY 2018 for employment start dates on or after April 1, 2018.
U.S. businesses use the H-2B program to employ foreign workers for temporary nonagricultural jobs. Congress has set the H-2B cap at 66,000 per fiscal year, with 33,000 for workers who begin employment in the first half of the fiscal year (October 1 through March 31) and 33,000 for workers who begin employment in the second half of the fiscal year (April 1 through September 30).
USCIS encourages H-2B petitioners to visit the H-2B fiscal year 2018 cap season webpage.