U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has received enough petitions to meet the congressionally mandated H-2B cap for the second half of fiscal year (FY) 2021. 12th Feb 2021, was the final receipt date for new cap-subject H-2B worker petitions requesting an employment start date before 1st October 2021. USCIS will reject new cap-subject H-2B petitions got after 12th Feb that request an employment start date before 1st October 2021.
On Feb. 12th, the number of recipients for whom USCIS received petitions exceeded the total number of remaining H-2B visas available for the H-2B cap for the second half of FY2021. As per guidelines, USCIS decided it was important to utilize a computer-generated selection process. Intended to guarantee the fair and orderly allocation of H-2B visa cap numbers available, without surpassing the FY 2021 cap.
On 17th Feb 2021, USCIS conducted the selection process to randomly select petitions from those received on 12th Feb 2021. After completion of this random selection process, they alloted all selected petitions a receipt date and started premium processing services.
H-2B Cap for Second Half of FY 2021 Reached
We continue to accept H-2B petitions that are free from the congressionally mandated cap. This includes petitions for:
- Current H-2B workers in the United States who wish to extend their visit and, if applicable, change the terms of their employment or change their employers;
- Fish roe processors, fish roe professionals or supervisors 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 Dec. 31, 2029.
U.S. businesses utilize the H-2B program to hire foreign workers for temporary nonagricultural occupations. Under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), as altered, Congress has set the H-2B cap at 66,000 each fiscal year.
With 33,000 for workers who start employment in the first half of the financial year (Oct. 1 – March 31) and 33,000 for workers who start employment in the second half of the fiscal year (April 1 – Sept. 30), or more any unused numbers from the first half of the financial year, if any. Unused H-2B numbers from one fiscal year don’t carry over into the next financial year.