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Additional H2B Cap Reached for Second Half of FY2022

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Additional H2B Visas

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently announced that it has gotten sufficient filings to reach the cap for the additional H2B Cap (visas) made available to returning workers. Since the number of petitions got in the first five business days of filing exceed as far as possible, the USCIS conducted a random selection of petitions to meet the 23,500 returning worker allotment for the second half of the fiscal year 2022 (FY22).

Background on H2B Program | Additional H2B Cap Reached

The H2B visa category is designed to help U.S. employers in an industry with peak burden, seasonal, or intermittent requirements to augment its current labor force with temporary workers. Furthermore, a U.S. employer might utilize the H2B if there is a one-time occurrence that requires a temporary decrease in workers. The H2B visa category is used by several different industries. However, is particularly prevalent in the construction and food services industries.

Availability of Supplemental H2B Visas

On March 31, 2022, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of Labor (DOL) declared that up to 35,000 additional H2B visas would be made available for the second half of FY22, with 23,500 available to returning workers who recently got an H2B visa or were in the United States according to H2B status during one of the last three fiscal years. The leftover 11,500 visas were reserved for workers from El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Haiti.

Next Steps

Petitioners whose workers were not chosen for the 23,500 returning worker allotment have the option to refile for nationals. From El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Haiti while visas for that allotment stay available. The last date for filing petitions for foreign nationals from these nations is 15th September 2022. Or when the cap is reached, whichever happens first.

Also, the USCIS will continue to accept H2B petitions excluded from the cap. Cap-exempt petitions include:

  • Current H2B workers in the U.S. petitioning for an extension or amendment of the stay
  • Fish roe processors, fish roe professionals, and/or supervisors of fish roe processing
  • Workers performing labor or services in the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands and/or Guam from 28th Nov 2009 until 31st Dec 2029

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The H2B program helps fill important gaps in the U.S. work market. The fact that the cap is quickly met nearly every time. It opens highlights just how critical immigration is to keep the U.S. economy running.

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