Wed. Dec 6th, 2023

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USCIS Reaches FY 2021 H-2B Cap for Additional Returning Workers

2 min read
H-1B Holder

Under the recently H-2B supplemental cap temporary final rule, USCIS has received enough petitions to reach the cap for the extra 16,000 H-2B visas made available for returning workers only. USCIS continues to accept petitions for H-2B nonimmigrant workers for the extra 6,000 visas allotted for nationals of Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador (all things considered called the Northern Triangle).

USCIS started accepting H-2B petitions on 25th May under the temporary final rule. Expanding the cap by up to 22,000 extra H-2B nonimmigrant visas through the end of the fiscal year (FY) 2021. Of the 22,000 extra visas, 16,000 were available only for returning workers. The remaining 6,000 visas are at first saved for nationals from the Northern Triangle who are exempt from the returning worker requirement.

In the first five business days of filing, USCIS got petitions for more beneficiaries. Then the additional 16,000 visas made available for H-2B returning workers. As per DHS guidelines, they utilized a computer-generated process to conduct a random selection of petitions to meet the 16,000 returning worker allotment for FY 2021.

USCIS Reaches for Additional Returning Worker H-2B Visas for FY 2021

The random selection included all H-2B cap-subject petitions filed under the H-2B returning worker allotment that were received between 25th May and 1st June 2021. USCIS will reject and return any cap-subject petitions for H-2B returning workers. Excluding those filed under the Northern Triangle allotment got after 1st June 2021, together with any accompanying filing fees.

Applicants whose workers were not chosen for the 16,000 returning worker allotment. Are urged to refile for workers from the Northern Triangle nations while visas for that allotment remain available. The last date for filing petitions requesting Northern Triangle nationals who are excluded from the returning worker requirement is 8th July 2021. If less than 6,000 beneficiaries are requested toward the visas put away for nationals of the Northern Triangle nations. USCIS will announce by 23rd July 2021, that the remaining visa numbers will be made available. To beneficiaries regardless of nationality, subject to the returning worker limitation.

[Cloudgen pleads guilty to H-1B visa fraud]

USCIS will continue to accept H-2B petitions for workers filing under the Northern Triangle allotment. Just as those that are exempt from the congressionally mandated cap. This includes petitions for:

  • Current H-2B workers in the United States petitioning to expand their stay and. If applicable, change the terms of their employment or change their employers;
  • Fish roe processors, fish roe professionals, as well as executives of fish roe processing; and
  • Workers performing work or services in the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands and additionally Guam from Nov. 28, 2009, until 31st December 2029.

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