U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it has received enough petitions to reach the additional maximum 30,000 visas made available under the H-2B numerical limit (cap) for fiscal year (FY) 2019. The H-2B visa program permits employers to hire foreign workers to come to the United States to perform temporary nonagricultural services or labor on a one-time, seasonal, peakload, or intermittent basis.
USCIS began accepting H-2B petitions on May 8, 2019, under a temporary final rule increasing the cap by up to 30,000 additional H-2B visas for returning workers through the end of FY 2019. The agency said it will reject and return any cap-subject petitions received after June 5, 2019 together with any accompanying filing fees. USCIS will continue to accept H-2B petitions that are exempt from the congressionally mandated cap. This includes petitions for:
- Current H-2B workers in the United States petitioning to extend their stay and, if applicable, change the terms of their employment or change 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, 2029.