USCIS Reaches H-2B Cap for Fiscal Year 2015

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced that the congressionally mandated H-2B cap for fiscal year (FY) 2015 was reached on Thursday, March 26, 2015.

The H-2B non-agricultural temporary worker program allows U.S. employers to bring foreign nationals to the United States to fill temporary non-agricultural jobs. There is a cap limit of 33,000 for the first half of the fiscal year (10/01 – 03/31) and 33,000 for the second half (04/01 – 9/30) for a total of 66,000 H2B visas issued per fiscal year.

Timeline for H-2B cap for fiscal year (FY) 2015:
– As of January 26, 2015, the H2B cap count was reached for employment falling under the 1st half of FY2015.

– As of March 5, 2015, the USCIS temporarily suspended the adjudication of Form I-129 for H2B nonimmigrant visa petitions as a result of a federal court decision on March 4, 2015 (Perez v. Perez, No. 3:14-cv-682 (N.D. Florida, Mar. 4, 2015) against the Department of Labor (DOL) which suspended the DOL from issuing prevailing wage determinations and certifying temporary labor applications under the H2B visa program.

– As of March 17, 2015, the USCIS resumed the processing of H2B nonimmigrant visa petitions because the DOL requested and was granted a stay of the March 4th order until April 15, 2015.

– As of March 26, 2015, the H2B cap count was reached for employment falling under the 2nd half of FY2015, thereby closing the H-2B cap for this fiscal year.

Note: USCIS will continue to accept H-2B petitions that are exempt from the congressionally mandated cap.

Petitions for the following workers are exempt from the H-2B cap:
– H-2B workers in the United States or abroad who have been previously counted towards the cap in the same fiscal year;
– Current H-2B workers seeking an extension of stay;
– Current H-2B workers seeking a change of employer or terms of employment;
– Fish roe processors, fish roe technicians and/or supervisors of fish roe processing; and – H-2B workers performing labor or services from November 28, 2009, until December 31, 2019, in the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands and/or Guam.

For more detailed information, please read the USCIS News Alert, “USCIS Reaches H-2B Cap for Fiscal Year 2015“.

Source of Information:
USCIS.gov, 4/2/15, News Alert:
USCIS Reaches H-2B Cap for Fiscal Year 2015

USCIS.gov, 4/3/15, Web Page:
Cap Count for H-2B Nonimmigrants
MVP Immigration Blog, 3/11/15, Blog Post:
H-2B Cap Count UPDATE – 2/27/15