Articles Posted in nonimmigrant visas

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 and 33,000 for the second half for a total of 66,000 per year. If the cap is not reached during the first half of the fiscal year, the extra numbers are then made available for the second half.

The H-2B cap limit for first half of FY 2022 (October 1 – March 31) is 33,000. As of the last count (8/26/21); 13,638 beneficiaries have been approved and 2,175 are pending for a total of 15,813.


The H-2B cap limit for second half of FY 2022 (April 1 – September 30) is 33,000. As of the last count (8/26/21); 0 beneficiaries have been approved and 0 are pending for a total of 0.

As of Friday, August 13th, USCIS has reached the cap for the FY 2021 H-2B supplemental visa temporary final rule! They have reached the 22,000 H-2B visas made available under this temporary change for the Northern Triangle countries (El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras).

Please view this USCIS News Alert for more details: Cap Reached for Remaining H-2B Visas for Returning Workers for FY 2021

 
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USCIS has launched a web-based “H-2B Employer Data Hub”! This web page allows you to select different H-2B Visa data points, such as cap fiscal year (back to FY 2015), and many others to search areas related to H-2B. They stated that the data hub is part of their efforts to increase transparency to the public and users.

Please view this USCIS News Alert for more details: USCIS Launches H-2B Employer Data Hub

USCIS Webpage: H-2B Employer Data Hub

USCIS has announced that they have reached the 16,000 additional petitions needed for the H-2B supplemental cap for fiscal year (FY) 2021! They will continue to accept petitions for H-2B nonimmigrant workers for the additional 6,000 petitions for Northern Triangle countries of Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala. This temporary final rule supplements the H-2B Visa Cap by adding 22,000 to the amount accepted for this FY. This will affect H-2B temporary nonagricultural guest worker visas for FY 2021!

Please view this USCIS News Alert for more details: Cap Reached for Additional Returning Worker H-2B Visas for FY 2021

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The U.S. Departments of Homeland Security (DHS) and the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) have issued a Joint Rule supplementing H-2B Visa Cap by 22,000. This will affect H-2B temporary nonagricultural guest worker visas for fiscal year (FY) 2021! They are trying to help employers who are likely to suffer irreparable harm without these additional workers during this period. The supplemental H-2B visa allocation will consist of 16,000 visas available only to returning H-2B workers from one of the last three fiscal years, FY 2018 through FY 2020, and 6,000 visas for Northern Triangle countries of Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala.

Please view this USCIS News Release for more details: U.S. Departments of Homeland Security and Labor Issue Joint Rule Supplementing H-2B Visa Cap

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The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will issue a final rule on Wednesday, May 19th, that will remove the interim final rule (IFR) issued on October 8, 2020, Strengthening the H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa Classification Program which was put in place by the Trump Administration. On December 1, 2020, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California vacated that IFR. This new final rule restores the regulatory text as it appeared before the October 8, 2020 IFR.

Please view this USCIS News Alert for more details: DHS Issues Final Rule to Remove Vacated H-1B Rule from Code of Federal Regulations

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USCIS announced that it has received a sufficient number of H-2B petitions to reach the congressionally mandated cap (33,000) for the second half of FY 2021. February 12, 2021 is now the “final receipt date” for cap-subject H-2B worker requesting employment start dates before October 1st. The “final receipt date” is the date on which USCIS determined that it has received enough cap-subject petitions to reach the limit of 33,000 H-2B workers for the second half of FY2021, for a total of 66,000 for the year.

USCIS will reject new H-2B petitions that were received after February 12, 2021 and that request an employment start date before October 1, 2021, but there are some exceptions!

The exceptions are listed below:

Biden Administration is withdrawing the USCIS Final Rule Strengthening H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa Classification Program!

Last week, the new White House Chief of Staff, Ronald Klain issued a memorandum to the heads of executive departments and agencies within the Federal Government and directs them to freeze any pending regulatory changes until reviewed. This Regulatory Freeze calls for 1) all rules pending at the Federal Register that have not been published must be immediately withdrawn and 2) agencies must “consider” postponing the effective dates for regulations that have been published, but not yet taken effect, for 60 days from the memo’s date. As a result, the USCIS Final Rule Strengthening H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa Classification Program will be withdrawn along with others. As we find out more on this subject, we will post it!

 

Whitehouse.gov, 1/20/21, Briefing Room Memorandum: Regulatory Freeze Pending Review

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that they have published a notice in the Federal Register listing the countries that are eligible for the H-2A and H-2B temporary immigration programs for 2021!

For 2021, DHS working with the Department of State (DOS) have agreed to:

  • Add the Philippines to the list of countries eligible to participate in the H-2B program;

USCIS announced that they have published the final rule in the Federal Register, implicating the Trump Administration’s modifications to the H-1B Visa Program! These changes will affect H-1B cap selection process, amend current lottery procedures, and prioritize (increase) wages!

Joseph Edlow, USCIS Deputy Director for Policy stated, “The current H-1B random selection process makes it difficult for businesses to plan their hiring, fails to leverage the program to compete for the best and brightest international workforce, and has predominately resulted in the annual influx of foreign labor placed in low-wage positions at the expense of U.S. workers.”

For complete details, please review USCIS News Release, “USCIS Modifies H-1B Selection Process to Prioritize Wages”.

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