U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it has received enough petitions to reach the cap for the additional 18,216 H-2B visas made available for returning workers for the first half of fiscal year (FY) 2023 with start dates on or before March 31, 2023, under a recently announced H-2B supplemental cap temporary final rule. The agency continues to accept petitions for H-2B nonimmigrant workers for the additional 20,000 visas allotted for nationals of Haiti, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras.
USCIS said it recently began accepting H-2B petitions under the December 15, 2022, temporary final rule that increased the cap by up to 64,716 additional H-2B nonimmigrant visas for FY 2023. Of the 64,716 additional visas, 44,716 were available only for returning workers. The remaining 20,000 visas are set aside for nationals of Haiti, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, who are exempt from the returning worker requirement.
Petitioners whose workers were not accepted for the 18,216 returning-worker allotment are encouraged to file under the Haiti, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras allotment while visas remain available, USCIS said. As of January 26, 2023, USCIS had received petitions requesting 4,260 workers under the 20,000 visas set aside for those nationals.
USCIS said it will also continue to accept H-2B petitions for those who 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 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 December 31, 2029).
- “Cap Reached for Additional Returning Worker H-2B Visas for the First Half of FY 2023,” USCIS, Jan. 31, 2023
- “FY 2024 H-1B Cap Initial Registration Opens on March 1, USCIS, Jan. 27, 2023
- “H-1B Registration Process,” USCIS
- “DHS and DOL Announce Availability of Additional H-2B Visas for Fiscal Year 2023,” Dec. 12, 2022